Saturday, September 03, 2005

Walesa wonders why he needs to become a socialist again.

25 years ago Walesa managed to make Poland's dictatorial communist regime back down. Poland would become the first domino in the eastern block to fall. What he sees now is a west trying to dispose of the privelege that he risked his life for - the right of an individual to try to make a decent living:

«Walesa is indignant about the attitude of the Left in the West who are trying to stop Poles from finding jobs in Western Europe. “The Polish worker who symbolised the struggle for freedom 25 years ago is now seen by many West Europeans as posing a threat to their social priviliges,” says Walesa.»
How quickly those trying to enshrine their personal social priveledges in law forget - Walesa for one seems like a man who doesn't want to see Poland with a new master turning people back into mere cogs in a socialist machine.

Much like roach motels, you can check in but you can't check out

We are having a September heatwave at the moment and the big question is: will Chiraq have better luck with French hospitals than the 15,000 victims that croaked during the heatwave of 2003?

More on Chiraq

Not! Who cares, anyway? Villepin just finished a long drawn-out live speech to a UMP youth group which sounded like he was either trying to boost the kids' morale (in which case Chiraq has already kicked the bucket which would be a shame -- it would completely undo the beneficial effects on the national psyche of Zidane's comeback -- can you imagine?!?) or build himself up as a Presidential candidate (in which case Chiraq is hanging by a thread, peut-être dans l'attente de se faire bérégovoyisé à Val de Grâce). Villepin saw fit to talk about the United States (the effects of Katrina and the continuing instability in Iraq) throughout his speech. This is now considered standard procedure for all Kontinental Zeropean politicians. All eyez on the US, the better not to see their own creeping irrelevance.


His dishonor, the mayor of New Orleans. Lou Minatti has plenty on Nagin's bungling and buck passing.

Difficile à comprendre vu de la Fwance, pays de bras cassés

Parigot, tête de veau

Chiraq has been hospitalized since yesterday due to a vascular incident, but Fwance, with its Soviet style press fully occupied churning out hateful anti-US propaganda, is just finding out this afternoon. Al-Reuters just picked up the story. Finalement, ce con est à l'image de son pays, le cerveau est bien atteint et tout le bazar continue à tituber, grâce à une inertie métastasique.

L'inébranlable Manifest Destiny

Cette Fwance suffisante qui feint d'oublier le chaos des ratonnades anti-blanc qui ont déferlé sur les rues de Paris au mois de mars.

"Si notre belle capitale devait connaître un événement, je dis bien un seul, un seul événement même moins grave, infiniment moins grave, quelques dizaines de morts tout au plus (moisson d'un banal attentat après tout...), que celui, inimaginable (et pourtant nous dit-on, auquel il fallait bien s'attendre) qui vient de balayer la Nouvelle-Orléans et lâcher les bêtes sauvages dans ses rues, je n'ai aucun doute, pas le moindre doute sur l'issue de la catastrophe : en France, dans n'importe quelle ville de France, le chaos serait total et, en moins de quelques minutes, toute l'infecte charogne que nos pieux gouvernements, nos douces consciences morales et nos sereins professeurs de droit humanitaire s'obstinent à ne point voir et à prétendre même qu'elle est le fruit de notre imagination intolérante, toute cette boue hurlante dégorgerait avec la puissance d'un fleuve dans les tranquilles avenues parisiennes, pour la consternation des petits-bourgeois qui se dépêcheraient d'ailleurs, en toute légalité bien entendu monsieur, de s'armer pour sauver leur peau blême."

Quelle est la grandeur du peuple américain ? Il est vivant. Nous, nous ne sommes que des Européens, c'est-à-dire que nous sommes des morts. ..."

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thanks to Leftist Media Darling, We Know the Contents of the Bereaved Minds of Members of Military Families — And It's All Against Bush!

Commenting his photos of military funerals from small towns to Yonkers, Paul Fusco proves he cannot understand anybody who doesn't think like he does. He finds it scandalous that the military would ban members of the press from funerals of servicemen, assuming the ban is the work of Bush's evil cabal and never pausing to ask whether the tradition might be a long-standing one. Certainly the photographer seems unaware that during the "good war", pictures of American dead were not shown in the United States, at least in the beginning of the 1940s.

In any case, if the presence of the likes of Paul Fusco seems unwanted in American cemeteries, at least it is desired at the Perpignan photojournalism festival. Both can probably be explained by his comments (notably to photos 1-3, 16, 31, 35-36, and 40) in which, among other things, he calls Old Glory a rag. ("I've seen a lot of very angry angry people, I've seen many young women and mothers, wives, and parents, families cringing when they're given the American flag … there's no glory in it — they know that. They've been given a rag for their husband's life, for lies — there is no glory, there is no honor.")

Of course, the emotional response that Paul Fusco saw could be called nothing but cringing, and needless to say, a wise and lucid man like him knew exactly the sole reason that could have accounted for that (see quote above). When the voice of a Cindy Sheehan is not deemed to be loud enough, why then, no matter, the lefties will presume to speak for the rest of the bereaved families. In any case, I wonder why military families wouldn't want a respectful mourner like that at their funeral… (No wonder he is the darling of the French, though.)

Hate speech

Moroccan newspaper calls Houellebecq "white trash". Et quand on s'appelle M’Hamed Hamrouch on me sert mon tagine et on ferme sa gueule.

That unscapable continental cynicism

Caution – class warfare, French socialist style: In a complete misinterpretation of events, Martine Aubry, the socialist mayor of Lille is disgusted by the defining of income downward which would sap more precious tax revenue which is normally a virtue to these whiners, and at the same time complaining that De Villepin isn’t shaking the last nickel out of the pockets of people who might be able to create a job. Like Tennessee Williams old saw: You can smell the mendacity.

«Elle se montre par ailleurs dubitative sur la baisse du chômage, "préparée pour coïncider avec la fin des cent jours de Villepin". Selon elle, ces chiffres s'expliquent notamment par "un nettoyage au Karcher des fichiers de l'ANPE, avec 35.000 radiations supplémentaires".

Moins mordante sur la question sensible du logement, elle reconnaît que "nous avons tous sous-estimé ce problème". Mais "ce gouvernement n'a pas fait plus de logements sociaux que les précédents et n'a pas fait appliquer la loi (SRU, Solidarité et renouvellement urbain, NDLR) pour réaliser dans chaque commune 20% de logement social", fustige-t-elle.»
In an attempt to stick the knife in the back of any possible positive reform, the entire assault is set to coincide with the 100 day impossible tax De Villepin was given to reform an unreformable mob of free-riders.

Even offers of aid are laced with unwitting condescension as an unlisted AFP writer looks at the population of Lafayette as their poor cousins, giving French generosity a tinge of the very cynicism the rest of civilization has come to expect:
« La solidarité s'organise en France pour les "cousins" de Louisiane

PARIS (AFP) - Des associations françaises proches de la Louisiane se mobilisaient vendredi pour venir en aide, après le passage du cyclone Katrina, aux sinistrés de cet Etat américain qui est resté lié à la France par son histoire et sa langue.»
And buried by AFP in the middle:
«De son côté, le gouvernement français s'est dit prêt à apporter son concours, en exprimant "la solidarité et l'amitié de la France vis-à-vis de (ses) amis de Louisiane et du sud des Etats-Unis". Il a mis à disposition huit avions, deux navires, 600 tentes et 1.000 lits de camp.»
Human decency and private giving meet the Press, and the Press can’t quite dope out the difference between sending tents and staging a Zydeco concert. If only words count, then only the thought counts.

To L’association France-Louisianeand the French government, thank you, thank you, thank you, a thousand times for coming to the aid of the suffering. To the press and the spinners that couldn’t wait to pipe their laundry list of petty complaints about the US through a natural disaster: go jump in a lake.

Writing from a Parsi dateling, as AFP does, how can it report with authority on anthropogenic climate change as a cause of hurricanes, not to mention that is was written the day after Katrina made landfall?

Just when Europe thought it was safe to publish books ...

... Google Print pops up in Europe. After a decoy manoeuvre by PepsiCo involving strategic yogurt production sends French business leaders into fits worthy of the most effeminate economic girly men, a single U.S. stock market quoted company targets the French intelligentsia right in their own Saint Germain backyard. Commence operations gentlemen, and shoot 'em as soon as you see the tips of their grimy Gauloises cigarettes!

French Quarter

Yet more of that false piety

…and the source of it seems to be endless. Did they play these little games with themselves when they thought of the Sri Lankan government after the Tsunami?

Probably with a great deal of enthusiasm, RNW’s Robert Greene cites the following dippiness from the Dutch paper De Telegaaf:


And look: De Telegraaf, on an inside page, reports that Cuban president Fidel Castro, who has little reason to worry about US misfortunes, has nevertheless expressed his "deep solidarity" with the American public, the local authorities and the victims of Katrina. A minute's silence in the Cuban parliament: would the US Congress have done the same if the shoe had been on the other foot?»
On the other hand his imperialist running-dog poodle Hugo Chavez takes an active and helpful position – offering aid in anger with no plan on following up.

This reminds me of a woman friend of mine who would only seek advice about men from her perpetually angry lesbian friends. It had the mask of seeming reasonable, until it became obvious that nothing but irrational hostility was all that the poor sucker ended up with. It’s no surprise that she always ended up confused, alone, and wondering what the hell happened. The same might happen at De Telegraaf. When you're taught to do nothing but make demands, others learn to do nothing but refuse.

Let’s not forget that Castro repeatedly refused relief aid from the US, Mr. Greene. What about a moment of silence for the poor firefighting and forest management techniques practiced across western Europe every year? Someone want to show these guys what a firebreak is? Or how to enforce building codes? Or something equally embarassing to the bileous echo-chamber of the European press?

Meanwhile, my spy in Texas heard some puzzling moon-battery on the radio, and had this to say about modern theosidy, which resembles whining by those who's last emotional refuge seems to be some sort of deus ex machina coming in to salvage their egos:
«Yesterday. A guy called in who said the reason the hurricane hit America was because we "forced" Israel to give up the Gaza strip. God zapped America for the Gaza.

Didn't the Nation of Islam leader just say God sent the hurricane to America because we support Israel?

And the chaos that is New Orleans is beyond belief. Notice you aren't hearing any of that from Mississippi which was actually harder hit?

Sad to say, New Orleans has a long and earned reputation for lawlessness and government corruption. Those chickens have come home to roost. The weak and the innocent are being preyed on by the depraved.»
Quite seriously, Euro-press gadflies, dictators, miscellaneous twerps and the kooks calling radio talk shows should all just shut up, sit down, and stay out of the way when grown-ups have work to do.

After PepsiCo buys Gallimard, their precious books will be moved to a Borders store in New Jersey

Patrimoine culturel fwançais off-shore:

Another Constitution that the French would like to see fail

The French are not too fond of Constitutions since they pricked the bubble of the EU vaporware charter.

Protecting strategic yogurt production

In Eastern Europe, They Have More Important Things to Do Than Castigate Uncle Sam

While the French, in their incomparable lucidity and their unequalled courage and their clear vision, have decided to oppose the biggest threat to mankind (aka Uncle Sam) — the others being of no objective concern — it turns out that the Czechs and the Poles see things in a somewhat different light. In fact,
Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Poland's former defense minister and vice president of the European Parliament, said this week, "We want to Europeanize our foreign policy."
That means quite a different European policy than the one the French have in mind (oppose — sorry, contrast oneself with — Washington at every turn). No wonder the president of the sophisticated and the understanding and the tolerant and the solidaristic French said that the best thing the Eastern Europeans could do would be to shut up…

A flood of French bullshit

Sit tight guys! We will not pull out of Iraq!

Palliatives and root causes

John McCaslin hints at the presence of a silent majority in Europe. Benny Peiser wrote to his 2000 newsletter readers:

«"I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to all our American friends and members who have been affected by the tragic events wrought by Hurricane Katrina," writes Benny Peiser, professor of science at Liverpool John Moores University in Britain. "Notwithstanding continuing rescue and support efforts, the calamity has triggered a rather opportunistic and cynical reaction by opponents of the current U.S. administration. In an eerie development . . . environmental campaigners, 'green' journalists and European officials are blaming (once again) the U.S. and its people for the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"Instead of supporting the rescue efforts, demagogues are using the human tragedy in a futile attempt to score points (on the impact of so-called
global warming). . . .

"Europeans in particular, who have been rescued and liberated from themselves by the U.S. no less than three times in the course of the 20th century, should feel ashamed for kicking a friend and ally when he is down. "Let me(reassure) our American friends and colleagues that this pitiless mind-set of environmental activists is not representative for the vast majority of Europeans who are following the heartbreaking events with great concern and empathy. . . ."»
For those inclines to sent thank-you notes, Mr. Peiser’s email address is

There are root causes to what Benny Peiser is trying to ameliorate. They are the same ones that caused Czech President Václav Klaus to warn those around him of a cloud inhabiting the European zeitgeist:
« “There is a well-known saying that we should not fight the old, already non-existent battles. I find this point worth stressing even if I do not want to say that socialism is definitely over. There are, I believe, at least two arguments, which justify looking at other ideologies as well. The first is the difference between the hard and soft version of socialism and the second is the emergence of new ‘isms’ based on similar illiberal or antiliberal views.”

“Illiberal ideas are becoming to be formulated, spread and preached under the name of ideologies or “isms”, which have – at least formally and nominally – nothing in common with the old-style, explicit socialism. These ideas are, however, in many respects similar to it. There is always a limiting (or constraining) of human freedom, there is always ambitious social engineering, there is always an immodest ‘enforcement of a good’ by those who are anointed on others against their will, there is always the crowding out of standard democratic methods by alternative political procedures, and there is always the feeling of superiority of intellectuals and of their ambitions.”

“These alternative ideologies […] are successful especially where there is no sufficient resistance to them, where they find a fertile soil for their flourishing, where they find a country (or the whole continent) where freedom (and free markets) have been heavily undermined by long lasting collectivistic dreams and experiences and where intellectuals have succeeded in getting and maintaining a very strong voice and social status. I have in mind, of course, rather Europe, than America. It is Europe where we witness the crowding out of democracy by post democracy, where the EU dominance replaces democratic arrangements in the EU member countries, where [some people] do not see the dangers of empty Europeanism and of a deep (and ever deeper) but only bureaucratic unification of the whole European continent. …

“[Europe] is a system of relations and relationships of individual countries, which must not be based on false internationalism, on supranational organizations and on misunderstanding of globalization and of externalities, but which will be based on good neighborliness of free, sovereign countries and on international pacts and agreements.”»
In other words, not on foolish but fashionable notions and talking shops populated by a social and academic elite. This is the source of, and the affirmation for the envious, lecturesome screeds coming from the mainstream press in European, the very ones that embarrass Peiser, and good people everywhere.

Many thanks to Paul Belien for his reporting of Klaus’ address.

The Wages of Fear

Thursday night, French TV showed a famous French adventure film/thriller from the 1950s. Le Salaire de la peur is as exciting as ever, but watching it again, I was surprised at how much the message (underlying and not so underlying) is aimed at denouncing Americans, their economy, and their way of life. In one word: capitalism destroys, corrupts, maims, and kills. Compare with the fun-loving, wise-cracking, intermingling, and race-mixing European and South American bon vivants (i.e., the victims of the above).

Here's the kicker. The movie, released in 1953, was filmed in 1951 and 1952, only half a decade aftter the World War II intervention of the Americans that everybody realizes that the French are eternally grateful for. Moreover: while French cinema was castigating the American-style capitalists for being addicted to oil and causing mayhem, death, and destruction, who was heading the Soviet Union?

Maybe it wasn't so surprizing that the film was showed on Arte, co-sponsored by Libération…

Tora! Tora! Tora!

When Bush isn't being compared to Hitler (or to Stalin), he is being compared to Tojo, whose Japanese government invaded China and Manchuria and forged the Axis alliance with Hitler (and Mussolini) before launching its surprise attack on Pearl Harbour. Using the traditional collection of hems and haws, Philippe Pons's collection of sophisticated, lucid, and avant-garde lessons for Bush and his fellow Americans on the Pacific war is so important that Le Monde decided to publish it on its front page…

While pointing out the number of criminal acts in New Orleans (and thus in American society in general), meanwhile, Dominique Dhombres (of Europe-needs-an-enemy fame) hints at unfairness and injustice in the amount of media means deployed to cover the world's two current tragedies (the Katrina hurricane and the Baghdad bridge)…

Lieber Jürgen – halts maul, and eat me

Germany’s Minister of the Environment Jürgen Trittin trotted out the usual armchair pieties that make American and much of the world take their comments for what they are, not serious, even in spite of the comic value:

«At a moment when the dead on the Gulf Coast are still being counted, the German minister of the environment could think of nothing better to do than -- in an essay published Tuesday in the center-left daily Frankfurter Rundschau -- to blame the US itself for the catastrophe. The piece is 493 words long, and not a single one of them is wasted to express any sort of sympathy for the victims of the storm. The worst of it is that Trittin isn't alone with his cold, malicious tenor. The coverage from much of the German media tends in the same direction: If Bush had only listened to Uncle Trittin and signed the Kyoto Protocol, then this never would have happened.
[ … ]
It's not the American people's fault that the storm hit and they couldn't have stopped it. The Germans, on the other hand, could have done a lot to prevent World War II. And yet, care packages still rained down from US troops. Trittin's know-it-all stance is therefore not only tasteless, it is also historically blind.»
Even more amusing when you consider that the US is a net absorber of CO2. The idea is of course that membership in an alphabet soup of international talking shops will somehow have an effect on the weather. Indeed... Most logical, Captain… If Tritten's polite fiction is about anything other than getting re-elected and a politician"s ego, I'd really like to know.

Claus Christian Malzahn continues:
«Hurricane Katrina has cost the lives of hundreds and devastated the US Gulf Coast. But instead of aid donations and sympathy, the Americans have heard little more than a haughty "I told you so" from Germany. It's another low point for trans-Atlantic relations -- and set off by a German minister. How pathetic.
[ … ]
Nevertheless, German aid money delivered to American aid agencies would surely be welcome on the other side of the Atlantic. But apparently, people over here believe that the Americans over there don't really need help. Strange. The same people who normally spend their time pointing their holier-than-thou fingers at the ghettos and slums in the US, the same ones who describe America as an out-of-control capitalist monster, are now, when the Americans could really use a bit of help, oddly quiet.»
Also writing in SPON Charles Hawley writes:
«The litany of sorrow and suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina is simply astonishing: the slow sinking of the city into Lake Pontchartrain; the dead bodies floating in the flood waters; the entire towns in Mississippi which have disappeared.

What makes it all the more appalling is that some German politicians are going out of their way to score political points out of the natural disaster. Yes there is a political campaign going on in Germany at the moment -- one that stands to send Chancellor Gerhard Schröder into retirement and for the near future send his coalition partners the Greens into political obscurity. But blatantly playing the anti-Bush card for votes, as Minister of the Environment Jürgen Trittin did on Tuesday and his Green party colleague (and party leader) Reinhard Bütikofer (Bush is an "eco-reactionary") did on Thursday, seems cheap.

But that's only the half of it. After publishing the comments by Trittin in English, SPIEGEL ONLINE was inundated with angry letters from the United States. We posted some, but a disturbingly large percentage of them were simply unprintable.»
Judging by the resoponses from Spiegel Online’s German readers, one little bit of miscommunication remains – the American letter writers’ reaction didn’t have anything to do with global warming, it had to do with Tritten and the Stepford children repeating the same nonsense. Some of the letters are amazingly out of touch with reality – following the “evil invaders of Iraq” vector, or the “can’t deal with criticism” track… seems to me that a response means that they dealt with it very well! Here’s a really hilarious one when you consider the nature of the German press:
«Can we criticize the Americans now, or is this just going to be a one-way exchange?»
- Sascha Langer (Presumably still banging his spoon on his highchair.)

You can get in touch with our caring friend Mr. Tritten on the following: (tel.) 49551-531-6090 / His two office flunkies can be reached on 49302-277-2248 /

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The angry left leaving no natural occurrence behind

While taking pot shots at Bush and implying that somehow, the seawalls in New Orleans failed because of him, the facts bear out something entirely different. EU Rota runs down what Bill Clinton when he had a democrat legislative majority did to the district of the US Army Corps of Engineers responsible for New Orleans:

«February 17, 1995

An Army Corps of Engineers "hit list" of recommended budget cuts would eliminate new flood-control programs in some of the nation's most flood-prone spots - where recent disasters have left thousands homeless and cost the federal government millions in emergency aid.

Clinton administration officials argue that the flood-control efforts are local projects, not national, and should be paid for by local taxes.
[ … ]
September 29, 2000

The House approved Thursday a $23.6 billion measure for water and energy programs, with sizable increases for several New Orleans area flood-control projects. The Senate will vote Monday, but it may be a while before the bill is enacted.

President Clinton is promising to veto the annual appropriation for the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers, not because it is $890 million larger than he proposed, but because it does not include a plan to alter the levels of the Missouri River to protect endangered fish and birds
So while foolish arguments are made connecting a man in a white building in Washington with the weather and the unceasing statement that there are more hurricanes now than ever, there is the pretense by those same people that they care about people more than the environment when it’s politically convenient, and the enviorment more than people when it’s polically convenient.

Meanwhile we learn that amid the chaos, while authorities had to cease helicopter extraction of people from the New Orleans Superdome to area hospitals:
«Superdome denizens are being moved by bus to a dry-land stadium, the Houston Astrodome. But helicopters transporting the sick "suspended flights after a shot was reported fired at a military helicopter," the AP reports»
I’m not sure that it’s safe to assume that whoever did it is angry at the military, or simply wants sick people to die, but taking cheap (and real) political shots has turned into a habit for political militants who cheer disasters because they think it’s for the “greater good” - of their theories, that is.

As for the rest of the population, here is a gladdening event I heard of from a friend in Texas. It's the quiet decent generosity that typifies "flyover country" that few others will be aware exists as they castigate, castigate, castigate:
At the Salvation Army center in downtown Dallas today, there was a line of cars two miles long. It was a queue of people dropping off supplies--food, clothing, water, toiletries.

Yeah, but can you actually vote for Doris?

From the Netherlands’ RNW, comes another interesting item in their daily review of the Dutch press. This time displaying the absurd view of certain people merely as Women when their roles vary wildly. That this is always a convenient and heartwarming type of victimology trope is no surprise, but is still degrading to a politician as successful as Angela Merkel. She is being compared to Schroder's wife, who at best lucked out in the big lottery of life by marrying someone who succeeded at something. Thinking that this will attract women voters, or as far as most of the leftist press is concerned, hoping that it will only attract voters to the left, they find themselves playing along with political panderings next door in Germany:


«Here in Europe, the upcoming elections in Germany are generating plenty of interest and Trouw today turns the focus on Angela Merkel - leader of the CDU, the conservative Christian Democrat party. She's widely expected to beat Gerhard Schroder in September's polls and become Germany's first woman leader.

Trouw writes that, "Probably because of fears that Merkel will attract women voters, the Social Democrats have pushed Gerhard Schroder's wife, Doris, into the limelight". Ms Schroder has criticised Ms Merkel, saying she lives in a different world from most women, and calling her performance as Women's Affairs minister in the 1990s "sub-standard".

But Trouw also publishes a major opinion piece by a German author describing Ms. Merkel as, "a gift to all women" and "a long overdue symbol to Germany that capable women can do anything."»
Long overdue symbol? How about electing an achiever like the CDU is expected to do? Not to compare anyone to Indira Ghandi, Golda Meir, or Margaret Thatcher to name a few, but wouldn’t the potent symbols be ones who have already lead a party or a nation, and not someone who married a guy because they might hit it big?

Overdue symbol… I’m trying to stop laughing. If they really wanted women to get ahead in politics they would stop treating them like symbols, or furniture in this case, and definitely not compare a candidate with her opponent’s spouse.

When all they do is look for symbols and not substance, I guess they start to think that calling for one sort of overdue symbol over another is some sort of achievement. What appears to be on display is the high point of “progressivism” which is always absent of actual progress, because you really can’t vote for Doris.

La pingrerie des franchouilles

"The one place in the country where their guys could read the signs, and they don’t bother to pitch in". Stingy French.

Alert the media - at your own peril.


«I HAD the rare honour of being attacked by ABC's Media Watch the other day. Evidently they've run out of right-of-centre Australians to savage, so were reduced to savaging a right-of-centre Canadian.»
«"They don't want an interview," my assistant Chantal reported back. "They want you to write out your answers to their questions."
"They want me to give written answers? On a TV show?" I said, not quite up to speed on the concept of typing out a television appearance.
But Chantal explained that she'd checked out the show and that the Media Watch concept involves them accusing you of something, you emailing back your 15,000-word response and then they pick the infelicitously phrased seven-word throwaway subordinate clause and stick it up on screen, after which the host delivers a withering putdown. I can see why it's a great gig for Liz Jackson.
It would be hilarious if it wasn’t true. To give you a sense of just how shabby their journalism is, this was supposed to be one of their big “finds”:
With the same exquisite timing as their Chrenkoff demolition, a couple of days after the Media Watch broadcast, the news broke that a US military data-mining operation claimed to have identified Atta as part of an al-Qa'ida cell in Brooklyn well before he "officially" landed at Newark on June 3.»
It would only be worth caring about their anger that eavesdropping didn’t work if the same news organization didn’t get their panties bunched up in a knot over “Echelon” which works even more beautifully for them because it has a menacing sounding name.

Alert the media. Or not.

Great! Set up another round!

The US is 2nd in the use of geothermal power, and as for dependency risk making the US “more vulnerable” – the per capita petroleum importation figures don’t bear that out either.

Which brings us to the meaningful part of the Economist feature article which belies the bigoted goofiness of the cover: the fact remains that India and China are developing. Their consumption of energy will rise and level out for one simple reason, the larger your GDP, the less energy you need per unit of GNP.

Meanwhile testy critics usually have a reason for their bilious nature, and freeriders will find it easier to criticize than to act.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Texas has heart

Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and a large part of Texas are opening their homes, public buildings, and schools to those fleeing from the floods caused by Katrina.

Of course the Kyoto-tons will continue to peddle the lie that Tchorge Boosch caused the sinking of the Titanic storms, global warming, lice, and a rain of frogs.

America will quite wisely ignore them and going about its' business. Perhaps nodding from time to time to keep the crazy, lonely panhandler of irresponsible global activism away. There will be the opportunistic "yeah, but you don't do enough of this and that..." nonsense from across the pond, but it's coming out of the mouths of people who simply don't matter.

Here is a list of FEMA recommended charities.

Pancho’s spinning moral compass

How do you get to the point where your hatred blinds you into thinking that participatory government is evil? That people who plant bombs in public places and kill civilians to maintain disorder have any right to be heard at all?

They disenfranchise ex-convicts so that a society doesn’t find itself with a voting block that wants to dismantle civil society, so why even give the time of day to what the Zarkawis of the world are doing?

A Piece of CIA Treachery Hammers into France

When faced with people dissing America (or, if you want to be cute, its government), I used to joke that everything is the fault of America (or the CIA), including the neighbor's dog who was killed crossing the street.

It turns out I am not that far from reality…

Not only is hurricane Katrina is the fault of Bush (or Uncle Sam), so was the 1999 storm that hammered France. In fact, the latter turns out to have been a CIA weapon deployed to harm the French economy and counteract the government's courageous decision to oppose globalization and GM foods, etc, a weapon which forced Lionel Jospin to make "a 180º turn" in his government's policy, such as his dastardly decision to …privatize France's electricity company! Moreover, the Americans' traditional treachery can be seen in that the storm occurred at night!

Hervé adds:

And the worst of all: to avoid any criticism and people getting the clue, ze horrible Américains gave tens of millions euros to help reforestation in France, as in Versailles for example... See how evil zey are!
But a climate weapon against a piece of American territory? Hmmm… let's see: is Louisiana a red state or is it a blue state? Hmmm…

Pacifism, Militarism, Brutalism, Concern…

This old but interesting item is from the Wall Street Journal, and it shows us another aspect of the French internally unreconciliable paradox. It’s a complex worthy of a sick society:

«No other Western democracy puts so much military hardware on show as the French. While those hyperpuissant Americans and their army may now rule the world, the heavy stuff tends to stay out of public view in the post-draft and even post-9/11 era. On the Fourth of July, the U.S. Marine Corps Band marks the extent of most Americans' contact with their soldiers.
The Gallic taste for militarism, even if only for show, may be compensation for their current weakness or nostalgia for the imagined past. Considering the string of French military losses in the 20th century, it's almost quaint, except that the images of Bastille Day don't exactly square with the efforts of France's leaders to present their country as leading a pacifist vanguard in the world. Few people will forget then-Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin's lectures to America about avoiding war at any cost a few years back.»
But it’s a costly paradox. Picture a room full of people wearing t-shirts that say “I’m with stupid”, and not having a way to rest a conclusion. It is one of socialist democracy’s great problems – good intentions run headlong into the fact that a society does not have the means to do what it intends precisely because of that very same democratic socialism.

The recent fires in Paris display some of that problem. This blog’s good friend, Hervé comments on the fact that the activism of government bodies may have a had a direct influence on this issue.

«The building owner (a Lyon citizen named Joseph O'Dru) lost his property to squatters, while there was an court action the end result was that because squatters illegally took possession of his property, and when the owner appealed to have them removed, the local administration defended the squatters.

Then, the building belonged to nobody
And from Le Figaro we hear a confirmation that the ownership of property is confused. Therefore how long will it be when the principal of property ownership becomes questionable… you know, in the ”interest of the people(s)”?!?
«Pendant des mois, des huissiers se sont rendus rue du Roi-Doré pour faire exécuter la décision. En vain. Ils ont demandé l'intervention du commissaire de police en 2001 et 2002 qui n'a jamais répondu. Le 1er juillet 2004, le préfet a prononcé une interdiction d'habiter. Il m'informait que je ne devais plus percevoir de loyers. Un comble ! La situation de l'immeuble a continué à se dégrader. En avril 2004, le préfet a rendu cette fois un arrêté de péril. Tout le monde savait que cet immeuble était dangereux.»
What it comes down to is the enforcement of BASIC building maintenance practices and not messing around with laws because the ‘feel so harsh’. The building was a death trap because of the unclear concept authorities have of property rights. Then what is often called ‘the tragedy of the commons’ sets in and stays in.

Regardless of the circumstances perceived by northerners living in their comfort, people will live wherever they can afford to and will choose a lesser risk over a greater one to them. In fact these are people to be admired for doing something about their own fate, and not depending on the cold anonymity of a government to substitute for the self, family, and society.
«"If the living conditions were better in Africa, Africans wouldn't be leaving to live in Europe," said Idrissi Sow, a businessman in the main market in Guinea's capital, Conakry. "But there, at least each person has his chance. They went to live a better life and make money, they died. May their souls rest in peace."

In Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, 36-year-old Joseph Nana, agreed.

"These are Africans who are struggling to survive in another country, but misfortune has befallen them," Nana said.»
May their souls indeed rest in peace. They lost their lives to a fire, but first had to survive the confusion and ethical turpitude of the nation they found themselves in.

Perpignan's Photojournalism Festival: Il ne faut surtout pas en douter…

This year, the photos concern Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya, and we are faced with a petty squabble
says Jean-François Leroy, the director of the Visa pour l'image photojournalism festival (this year's invité d'honneur is the American photographer David Burnett, with exhibits devoted to the photos of Jonas Bendikson, Alexandra Boulat, and a Parisian collective), as he complains about the loss of subsidies.

A year ago, No Pasarán pointed out the bias and the lack of objectivity inherent in the festival (which has nothing to do with its financial difficulties, by the way, the latter being the result of opposing parties at the levels of the Perpignan town hall and of the surrounding region) and debunking the director's matter-of-fact, pseudo-objective declarations to the press.

A visit to Perpignan confirmed our worst suspicions (notice the difference — scroll to bottom of link — in the treatment of American and French military interventions abroad). It also led to an examinition of the extent that French festivals in general highlight America-bashing.

As always, the language is telling; how stories involving America are filled with overbearing scorn, smug-filled mockery, and haughty disgust; while tragedies elsewhere (i.e., that do not involve Uncle Sam, America's allies, and/or capitalists in general) — even those involving bloodthirsty dictators — are presented at best as hand-wringing tragedies beyond anybody's control.

(Here is another example of an enormous and unbelievable miscarriage of justice, due — needless to say — to the "senseless act of violence" perpetrated by an "unrepentant, brutish killer" in the U.S. army; in this case, it is not part of a government-sponsored festival but a government-funded TV station [the German government, in this case] which highlights the "callous brute" and "his idiot father who is obviously unable to tell right from wrong" — both of them presented as typical Americans.)

From this year's Perpignan harvest (which, among other "burning questions", includes the seminar "Is photojournalism a political act?"), there is Jérome Sessini, Lynsey Addario, and

Paul Fusco, one of the greatest and most prolific photographers of his generation, [who] has tackled a subject that is taboo: burials of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq. Here is a social issue so many would like to hide away, never to be mentioned lest it undermine the morale of the American people. The harsh truth seen in the photos proves (did anyone ever think otherwise [fallait-il en douter] ?) that military victims do not come from wealthy families.
Thank goodness the French authorities have — once again — alerted the world (and Americans themselves!) to the danger of treacherous Americans ("a social issue so many would like to hide away"), to the need for a teaching program for blinded Americans ("Taboo, never to be mentioned, the harsh truth seen in the photos"), and to the existence of simpleton Americans (everyone not aware of the above and who ever was so silly as to think "otherwise").

After PepsiCo seizes their strategic yogurt production, we'll get our grubby hands on their precious books

We're moving Fwance's cultural wealth off-shore.

Bolton renames the UN, the "700 Club"

Bolton lays the smackdown with no fewer than 700 corrections. This is the best thing to happen to the UN since ... the war in Iraq! The shame is that, without a strong United Nations, pedophile NGO workers, dictators, corrupt businessmen and government officials on-the-take will have no place to hang out together. Oh the humanity!
Kafé Hardeur, tu vois ce qu'on fait avec ton papelard. On en fait de la confiture, mec!

We've never let ourselves get pushed around by redskins!
Le racisme anti-blanc couramment pratiqué par la presse soixante-huitarde franchouille: Why does Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine feel the need to put a racial spin on this?

Something rotten in the heart of Zeropa

So while the French go about making plans to nationalize production of strategic industries like yogurt production, the Anglo-Saxon financial vanguard gears up for the next round of intense globalisation.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Let a thousand t-shirts bloom

He'll go down in history ... as the Numero Uno seller of grimy t-shirts. Thanks for the memories, dirtbag.

This is the one picture of the Che I want to have on MY t-shirt. (based on an e-mail from Joe N.)

Fais comme si j'étais pas là…

A man to look up to

Among those supporting a free press in Lebanon is an American you may have heard from before. His name is George Essef Snr., and he knows what he’s talking about.

«In today’s America, ask a growing number of high school and college students; their teachers and professors; the self-anointed media elite and/or hard working men and women of all ethnicities, the question, “What is a Republican?”, and you’ll be told “… a rich, greedy, egotistical individual, motivated only by money and the desire to accumulate more and more of it, at the expense of the environment … the working poor ….and all whom they exploit…”

I am a Republican … I am none of those things… and I don’t know any Republicans who are.

WHAT I AM … is the grandson of immigrants who risked everything, including their lives and those of their children, to escape tyranny in search of freedom.

WHAT I AM … is a man who grew up during the Depression and witnessed, first hand, the effects of the Stock Market crash and the soup lines that followed. I watched as both my parents and grand parents, who had very little themselves, share what food they had with a half dozen other families, who had even less.»
What he is, is a man who makes me proud of our common citizenship and heritage.

There really never IS a cop around when you need one.

Kevin Jaeger of the once and future “Trudeaupia” blog writes at The Shotgun of one of those great moments in civilization, or in this case civilizing the uncivilized:

« I'm sure you recall the story of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh getting stabbed to death in a Stockholm department store. At the time it seemed astounding that bystanders would stand by passively and let the perpetrator escape.

Well, recently a fellow with a long history of domestic violence and a restraining order in place tried to stab his ex-wife, except this time it happened in a Wal Mart in Albuquerque:

So a 72 year old bystander comes to her aid and saves her. I can never comprehend why so many are committed to disarming the law abiding.»

Europe Responds with More Sophistication and Better Understanding than the Trigger-Happy Cowboys Do…

Another myth was that European governments, which now praise Solidarity as the movement that precipitated the collapse of the communist system, were right behind the movement
writes Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune
Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies at Oxford, said West Germany in particular was obsessed with maintaining good relations with the Soviet Union, believing this would lead to closer ties between the two Germanies. But then, other governments were not so forthcoming with support either.

"There were always 'ifs' and 'buts' or 'maybes' or 'let's wait and see,"' said Gienek Smolar, organizer of the international conference held Monday.

The United States, due to President Jimmy Carter, who put great store on human rights as a part of his foreign policy, did support Solidarity.

Daniel Fried, a U.S. assistant secretary of state for European affairs who had close links with Poland at the time, said that "when we supported Solidarity, we were criticized by the Europeans for being naïve. Yet in 1989, when the Berlin Wall was about to collapse, there were very few American officials who believed that history was about to turn."
There's good and bad in this article.

It points out that the ever-wiser men, women, pundits, and leaders of Europe always know how to respond better (and with more understanding and more sophistication) than the American cowboys.

However, Dempsey manages to put all the credit with Jimmy Carter while ignoring Ronald Wilson Reagan and how the international community responded to Jaruzelski's crackdown two years later.

Peter Schweizer, author of Reagan's War, does not overlook this. (Notice the difference in tone of the international community's reactions with regards to America — in Iraq, in Vietnam — and the Soviet Union.) He reminds us that when Moscow sent the Red Army into Afghanistan, France and Germany responded placidly that they were faced with what they termed the "Afghanistan incident".

In Europe, everybody stayed away from Reagan, Margaret Thatcher said, and once martial law was declared in Poland, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt pronounced it "necessary" while Genscher likewise justified it.

Meanwhile, the official US statement in January 1982 following the imposition of martial law was: "We in the West have a responsibility not only to preserve our own freedom but to nurture it where it does not exist."

"Schweizer's conclusions are buttressed significantly by his research in newly opened secret archives" writes Curtis Edmonds. "We learn, unsurprisingly, that the peace movement in West Germany was supported and controlled by the East German secret police."

Offering a toast at 10 Downing Street in June 1982, Thatcher praised Reagan "for putting freedom on the offensive where it belongs."

While pundits [and members of the peace movement and the above-mentioned "allied" governments] denounced the "evil empire" speech, political prisoners in Russia spread the word in their dark, damp cells. They tapped on walls and quietly talked through toilets to share what Reagan had said. Natan Scharansky remembers feeling energized and emboldened; Reagan had given them hope.

The Reason that the French Are Entitled to Give Americans Lessons on Race Relations

I can't tell how many times I have been forced to listen to a litany of castigation, mockery, and scorn by self-assured Frenchmen, in their eager determination to prove that America was inhabited by treacherous hypocrites, greedy monsters, and/or retarded simpletons.

As I have written before, knowing your (world) history well often serves to prove that insofar sins and wicked deeds are concerned, America comes out about every time as (by far) the least guilty perpetrator. And slavery proves a typical example thereof, as The Winds of Change demonstrates (merci à Rhomp):

In the history of the Atlantic slave trade, the French turned four times as many Africans into slaves as the Americans did, they used them far more brutally, and French slavers not only got a head-start on Americans, they continued the slave trade -- legally -- until 1830, long after the rest of Europe had given it up. And they kept at it clandestinely until after the U.S. Civil War. France officially abolished slavery in its colonies only 14 years before Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, and then only under pressure from slave uprisings.

The French New World settlers outstripped the Americans in their greed for slave labor. When the U.S. acquired Louisiana from France, the first governor sent out from Washington reported back that, "No subject seems to be so interesting to the minds of the inhabitants of all parts of the country which I have visited as that of the importation of brute negroes from Africa. This permission would go further with them, and better reconcile them to the government of the United States, than any other privilege that could be extended to this country. ... White labourers, they say, cannot be had in this unhealthy climate."

… The 1794 declaration of universal emancipation did not actually outlaw the slave trade. Yet even this proved unenforcable; the colonies required slaves, and under Napoleon, slavery was reintroduced.

The French never recovered Haiti, though they coveted it for a generation, and France's slave trade had been temporarily shut down by the Napoleonic Wars. But after the restoration of the Bourbons the French retained Martinique, Guadeloupe, and French Guiana on the South American continent, all major sugar-producing colonies.

If it had not been for British pressure, the slave trade might still be tolerated in France. But the British had taken a strong anti-slavery position. The French press railed at the British for using morality as a cloak for their supposed desire to rule the world. And the French desire to keep the British at bay, and to compete with them in the seas, seems to have had a lot to do with the French decision to turn officially against the slave trade.

… In 1820, a British cruiser chased a French slaver, La Jeune Estele, whose captain, once he saw himself being overtaken, started throwing barrels overboard. In each was a pair of slave girls, age 12 to 14. Public opinion in Britain was shocked, but in France the people blamed the British.

Ben ouais! C'est la faute aux Anglo-Saxons, pardi!

In an unrelated article, John McCaslin quotes a New York Democrat (Charles B Rangel) as saying that "the destruction of the black family" today can be traced to a single man from England who purposely paid a visit to Virginia during the early 18th century.

"If only we could hand out fines like the Americans do, lots of problems would disappear"

Si nous pouvions mettre des amendes comme les Américains, beaucoup d'infractions disparaîtraient.
Strange, that there would be a department — such as aviation — in which the greedy American capitalists would seem to be more safety-concerned than the lucidity-prone French

Monday, August 29, 2005

Another miserable failure of America

How to really end poverty

Simple: Get a job.

Don't You See? If Only You Are Tolerant and Understanding and If You Will Create a Bond with Them, Then…

Grizzly People founder Timothy Treadwell had Disney-fied the object of his affection. So, as [Werner] Herzog chronicles, the 46-year-old bear activist and his 37-year-old girlfriend were mauled and eaten by an Alaskan grizzly in October 2003
writes Debra Saunders.
While some think Treadwell had a death wish, he claimed that he would not be hurt, because he had a special understanding of grizzlies and he respected them. His fate illustrates the dark side of the modern romanticization of the wild.

Fact is, Treadwell didn't understand grizzlies and he didn't respect them. As an Alaskan pilot told Herzog, Treadwell seemed to view grizzlies as if they were "people wearing bear costumes."

…Treadwell liked to style himself as an animal lover, but I think he was more smitten with himself than with the bears.

Why is it that while reading this article, I kept thinking of Europe's humanists and pacifists (of today and yesterday), walking through the capitals of their countries, lauding the Iraqi "resistance", the anti-globalization movement's "answer" to capitalism, the Soviet Union, and other "legendary" opponents of the American superpower? Not to mention the same actions and policies being taken by governments who would be members of the so-called peace camp, of today as well as yesterday… All of the above overflowing with expressions such as tolerance and understanding and lucidité and avant-garde and "prise de conscience" and "can't we all work together?"…

London Economics Professor Warns that Britain's Prosperity Will End Within 50 Years

Are we really suffering from a shortage of electricity or other energy? Should we be rationed? The moral answer is yes if we are suffering an energy shortage and no if we are only imagining one
muses Rabbi Lapin.
This would not be the first time that we have imagined an energy shortage. Until the early 18th century, colonial homes were heated mostly by burning wood. Forests were vanishing and the rapidly growing colonies were running out of fire wood. Eliminate immigration and ration firewood, was the call of the day, until they found and began burning coal. As with anything new and untried, coal brought dangers. But these were soon overcome and by 1840 America was deriving energy from a million tons of coal a year.

William Jevons, an economics professor at University College, London, became famous on account of a paper he published in 1865. It was entitled The Coal Question: An Inquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of our Coal Mines. He predicted that British prosperity would end within fifty years when the nation ran out of coal and recommended an industrial slowdown in order to conserve what coal was left. We are just about finished with the year 2005 and Britain is still mining and burning coal.

America used to depend on whale oil for lighting. During the early 19th century, pundits warned that since whales were being harvested at an ever increasing rate, America would soon go dark. They recommended turning out all lights no later than ten o’clock in order to conserve what whale oil was left. They were right about running out of whale oil, but they were wrong about America going dark. In 1859 a railroad conductor called Edwin Drake had struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Lanterns started burning paraffin instead of whale oil until Edison’s electricity lit American cities.

Since the 1970s we have heard much about exhausting the world’s petroleum reserves. Just how soon has been debated, but nobody doubts that the amount of oil is ultimately limited, just as whale oil was. Should we therefore advise petroleum conservation as they once did with firewood, whale oil, and coal?

Extra extra, read all about it!

A new German-language blog has hit the stands, thanks to Olaf Petersen…

In so many ways, Iraq doesn't look like Vietnam at all

According to The Patriot's well-placed military and intelligence sources, one closely guarded objective in securing a free Iraq is to establish a forward-deployed presence in the Middle East — a presence that would certainly include personnel but whose primary component would be massive military-equipment depots that could be tapped for future rapid-deployment military operations in the region
writes Mark Alexander.
This forward-base objective is critical, given that it will ensure our military presence in the heart of Jihadistan, and an ability to project force in the region quickly without having to ramp up via sea and airlift. This alone will pay rich dividends by way of maintaining peace through preparedness.
Meanwhile, Michael Fumento reports from Fallujah ("Good news from Iraq rarely gets a single story compared to the many thousands on a war protestor’s stake-out in Texas") and Robert L Pollock discusses the Chalabi comeback, while Jeff Jacoby sighs audibly as he recounts how
in so many ways, Iraq doesn't look like Vietnam at all. Vietnam was never the central battleground of the Cold War, while Iraq has become the focal point of the war on terrorism. Americans had no reason to feel that their own security was at risk in Vietnam, whereas 9/11 made it clear that the enemy we face today in the Middle East poses a lethal threat here at home as well. The jihadis in Iraq don't have the backing of superpowers; North Vietnam and the Viet Cong were armed to the teeth by China and the Soviet Union. In South Vietnam, the United States was allied to an unpopular and incompetent regime; in Iraq, the United States toppled a brutal tyranny and is trying to nurture a democracy in its place.

But of all the ways in which the Iraq war is not like Vietnam, perhaps the most telling is the attitude of the troops.

Pat Robertson said it once, Chavez says it annually ran an article some time back that helps up but into context what a complete crackhead Hugo Chavez really is:

«-- In 2002, in an effort to mitigate the effects of a Strike, BBC reported Chavez’s claim that American malefactors were looking to eliminate him as he flew back from a goodwill tour of Europe. Does this ring a bell? “They were hunting us, waiting for us,” Chavez said at the time.

-- In September 2003, Chavez warned the world that he was under threat of elimination yet again. According to Reuters, Chavez claimed that “Venezuelan terrorists” were being trained on American soil before wrapping himself in the US flag by invoking the Terror War in his own defense: “"Over there, in U.S. territory, people are conspiring against Venezuela, terrorists are being trained. If they are really fighting terrorism as they say, they should act against these terrorists who are threatening Venezuela," Chavez said.

-- 2004 apparently was a bull market for assassination attempts also. In May of that year, Chavez again decried attempts by the US to end his reign by stopping his heartbeat.»
No “secret armies” no assassination attempts, no malefactors since 2002 have shown themselves. Ah, but they’re SECRET! Don't you SEE!

When they talk about keeping a population dumbed down with lies, I think we have finally found some proof that it’s possible. It’s a horrible strategy.

It prompts a question. Where do children get these things?

Get a smaller limousine and hold off on the latté

Luxury leftist Lafontaine caught by the German press with the caviar flowing from his mouth.

It’s only an outrage when the US forces are involved

According to most of the press, the Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled killed in Baghdad by an American sniper is called a journalist, when he was a media assistant. Reports from the most recent Algerian civil war were that 57 journalist and 20 media assistants died.

The conclusions of a biased media?:

- Iraq deadlier for journalists than the Vietnam War was! RSF:

«Khaled is the 66th journalist or media assistant to be killed in Iraq since the start of the war in March 2003. A total of 63 journalists were killed in the Viet-nam war, which lasted from 1955 to 1975. »
No mention of the Elephant in the room. Very few were killed by US forces. Tabulations, not done, are not and hand because the passive activists of the press are not interested in finding a cause of their colleagues' deaths, not when the story is about the evils of America.

- The implication was that all 66 journalists and media assistants killed in Iraq were killed by the US military. Not so. Read carefully and you’ll see that the only attributions made when US forces are involved. Buried in the details, and not in the headlines are the journalists killed by the murderous opponents of a free Iraq. Entirely lost is the fact that journalists CAN’T get out and get a good picture of Iraq when an insurgency is after them.

One Journalist opposed to the war puts some of this incontext by discussing his experience in Iraq:
«Every one of the people involved in the resistance that we spoke to held us individually responsible for their security. If something happened to them -- never mind that they were legitimate targets for the U.S. military -- they would blame us. And kill us. We soon learned that they had the U.S. bases so well watched that we had to abandon our idea of working on the U.S. side of the story -- that is, discovering what the soldiers really thought about who might be attacking them. There were so many journalists working with the American soldiers that we believed that that story would be well told. More practically, if we were seen by the Iraqis going in and out of the American bases, we would be tagged immediately as spies, informants and most likely be killed. »
He goes on to give his readers the Chimpy W. Hitlerburton routine, but while he raises questions of what US forces COULD do, he was quite certain of what the terrorists WOULD do to him.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Plastic Exploding Inevitable

Israel makes a concrete move towards peace. Pali Psycho Death Cult©®™ suicide bomber strikes. Palestinian Prez'nit terror front man Abbas makes believe that he condemns terrorism.

Laboratoire de catastrophe générale

Dantec est de retour. Après avoir claqué la porte aux nez des tiédasses qui bossent chez Gallimard, il revient avec un nouveau roman chez Albin Michel avant de sortir 'American Black Box', le troisième tôme de ses journaux, au premier trimestre de 2006. Et comme il est d'une grande générosité, il est partant pour donner un coup de main à un éditeur qui démarre.

Pandering to our readers with dog pictures

Why? Because I feel like it. Theyre also better behaved than any of us, and definately have more fun.

“Solidarity” is only a common feeling, not an action for the common good

There are many causes for the buildings to enter a state as dangerous as the one that led to the recent death of 17 people living in crowded conditions recently in Paris. That buildings like that exist is nothing more than a failure of government managed social solidarity’s capacity to solve such problems, as it is a sign of the general meagerness that its’ theories perpetuate.
The technical solutions are straightforward – make the buildings better. How to do that is a matter of which side of the great debate of the century in the western world you fall on:

«Recent legislation. Housing is now considered to be a national responsibility - it is not just a matter for the state. Several legal texts bear this out: for example, an Act of 6 July 1989 recognized the right to housing as a "basic right" and one of 31 May 1990 expressly stipulated that "guaranteeing the right to housing is a duty for the whole nation in the name of solidarity".»

This is not good. The market forces which do this for people are better suited to the very atomized and industrial task of building and renovating. The various government bodies in the Netherlands were at one point the de facto builders of all housing, but the quality and suitability couldn’t work in a market where the public sought both a variety of structures and didn’t have identical buying power. They let the market function more autonomously and found that it the public preferred it.

Long in the lore of the Bauhaus philosophy was the drive to house the battered population of postwar Europe. What was destroyed by big government could only be rebuilt by one. The socialist governing philosophy was served by this notion, but what thereafter? The system grew into a sclerosis, and while some governments disposed of it others didn’t to an adequate degree. The idea that bureaucrats could force what someone imagines is a better life on people is older yet.
Even Peter Blake, an early participant in the modern movement, and the man who coined the name of The International Style told me unceremoniously that the great drive was to put a roof over the heads of the postwar population of Europe, and that the rest of the great drive to build tower blocks was social philosophy and government policy which was then unimaginable, and had little to do with most of the built work itself. He knew what he was talking about – a Prussian who fled Hitler’s repressive governance, he made it from the invasion of Normandy to end up as the first American soldier to enter Berlin after it fell to the Soviet having run past what was left of the Nazi lines.

Aide à la pierre remained in kind if not in literal form. The extent of that intervention may have been too far gone. In the 1960s and 70s the government attempt at withdrawal from direct financing and involvement in homebuilding caused a grave slowdown since the incentives were as absent then as they were in the 1930s. Without the incentives in place, or at least a lack of obstruction through propping up of trades which were not permitted to be free themselves, the housing stock could only get worse.

The great object lesson for this same problem in the US were the rent control laws imposed during the Second World War, and then in the case of New York City, left in place. The decent of the South Bronx into a slum was directly caused by the simple fact that building owners had no financial incentive to improve, maintain, or repair their property. The City’s experiment with socialism failed. In one way or another all socialist housing experiments eventually fail the people who live in them.

Not letting the market function requires controls of that sort precisely because of the burdens put on it, not just the making of borrowing difficult, but through the frustration of work through delays of seeking aesthetic approval and excessive environmental regulation.
Then the supply fails, raising the cost to people, even if the attempts to suppress the price succeeds for a little while.
That lack of supply will raise the price in other ways, in this case the grim state of the buildings which remain the only option for people with small to medium incomes in a controlled market.

It is no surprise that the cities in the United States that have the most expensive housing are the very same ones that have both the most onerous development controls and the added problem of a leftist view of how to house people. In that sense the blue state cities of San Francisco, New York, which are held up as examples of wealth are often compared to Europe in their policies, but in truth, holding up their wealth as a sign of success is flawed. That wealth has little purchasing power, few options, and finds itself living in a walk-in closet no different that those that the victims of last Thursday’s fire in Paris did.

There is a great, beneficial intersection of the needs of both the poor and everyone else. Free the market, and they poor will still end up with “the leftovers”, but they will be dignified leftovers more likely to be big enough and safe enough for people who in such an economic environment shortly will become homeowners with a little bit of hard work.

The press which seems perplexed by these events don’t see the causes or the simplicity of the solution. The failure isn’t inadequate “social housing”, it’s the existence of “social housing” at all.

The leftist "revolutionalry spirit" coming home to roost

In Canada, after years of “revolutionary feeling” and leftist stridency, it’s become politically acceptable to consort with a terrorist group, and then weasel out of it afterwards.

In a letter to a radio host in Winnipeg, Bruce Vallance tells a chilling tale of the FLQ bombing attack on Military Headquarters in Ottawa. “Kill those big, bad soldiers” the sentiment always is, because of what they seem to represent to bomb placing agitators who can’t seem to differentiate between an innocent bystander and an innocent target.

«During the FLQ crisis I was stationed at Canadian Forces HQ in Ottawa. The bomb they placed outside of my office window was meant to kill those in the room and I suppose make a statement.

They succeeded only too well. The lady they killed was not only a co-worker, but also a friend.

After I picked myself up off the floor some thirty feet from where I was standing I saw my friend laying on the floor. I remember kneeling in a pool of her blood trying desperately to staunch the flow. Her eyes seemed to be pleading for me to help her.

This tiny middle aged French Canadian single mother of two who had been so happy. She had been talking for several days about her up coming vacation. The first in twenty years. Now she lay struggling to breath through her torn throat. Desperately I tried to staunch the flow of blood. I watched as the light in her eyes slowly dimmed and then disappeared. Here was a grown man and soldier kneeling in the welter of her blood crying like a baby as I cradled her in my arms.»
That’s right, the new Governor General stuck up for a secretive organization which is trying break a nation up, and now is trying to slink out of the real indicator of her trustworthiness and judgment. A brief look at the past few Governor General illustrates quite clearly what the job requirements are: the right PC image.

"We have more planes ..."

Keep them grounded. Pali Psycho Death Cult©®™ pleading for aircraft. Imagine the impact.

Hostile takeover of the French language

Hostile takeover of the French language? How much could that be worth? I bid a nickel.