Saturday, March 25, 2006

Very unpleasant. Very unpleasant indeed.

An Imam in Denmark has approved the death penalty for Naser Khader, founder of the Danmark based organization “Democratic Moslems”.

The Danish blog Agora is on this like white on rice:

«This just in. One down. One being tackled as we speak. Imam Abu Laban of pig-eared fame apparently knew about a planned “Martyr action” on February 21st. Quoting from my transcript of previously unreleased footage from Mohammed Sifaoui, the journalist who broke the news of Imam Ahmed Akkari’s death threats against Naser Khader. Imam Abu Laban is speaking of a man who plans to execute a martyr operation in connection with the Battle of Khartoon.»
I can see a growing Agoraphobia possibly developing in Jihadist ghettos of Scandinavian cities.

That never ending supply of riotous anti-CPE smurfiness

The BAF is at it again. Complete with video featuring a fabulous cast of characters we all know and love who need to bathe occasionally. Doesn’t everyone have neighbors this whacky?

Good-o. Shukran, ya Carine who has more video yet of the corroded notions that always seem to tag along on the way to the Beer hall putsch.

Check out the animals with their streetwear hoods

Brits warned: avoid riot torn Paris.

Horror ... mob of thugs attack an innocent woman caught up in rioting

Attack ... she is hurled to ground as yobs taunt her

How about the phrase "stick it in, and break it off"

Chiraq is offered an easy-to-use English phrasebook.

Democracy in action

Steven points out the abundant charms and wonder of election seasons. It reminds one of the better angels of our spirits, no?

"The foreign press, the Americans in particular, do not understand the students"

Along with an evasive roundup of the US press by Marie Béloeil writing in Le Monde, the FT’s Philip Stephens is cited. The WAY it’s looked at, though, says on simple thing about the writer: I just DON’T get it.

«”France is afraid", writes Philip Stephens in the Financial Times of London. Where Thursday’s demonstrations smoldered out in several French towns, it paints the portrait of a nation which fears everything and anything. A divided nation, divided by many things: between those which are in and out the system, between the "cherished" civil servant and the employees of private enterprise who are "exposed to the harshness of international competition", between the unemployed and the others. Especially, Philip Stevens describes France where equity between generations is no longer rule: "the students [who demonstrate against the CPE] are correct up to a point. The burden of the insecurity is distributed in an unjust way (...). If it is probable that the young people will not find some of their own, they will have to pay the generous retirements that their parents secured for themselves. Something doesn't quite compute there."

"It is too late to return towards the past" , and it’s the typical French soap opera: "the aversion to change" appears "at the precise time where it becomes impossible to resist it" . The anti-CPE movement is as futile as the economic protectionism of the government. "France must change if she does not want to continue to be fear ridden", Stevens insists.»

A further case of Al-Jazeera sur Seine just not getting it, sufering from "false conciousness" or having a case of that bad juju following them around:
«The least one can say is that the foreign press, the American press in particular, does not understand the students. The leader-writer of International Herald Tribune is being ironic about it: "another French exception: a rigid fair labor act". Chicago Tribune summarizes the situation in these terms: ”employees in France are protected to such a degree that when somebody is hired, it is practically impossible to lay them off, even if they are very inefficient." The problem is that the final analysis get lost here: "job security of American workers is less than that of the French... but there are more jobs."
The Chicago Tribune shells out numbers: 4,3 million jobs created in two years in the United States, and a rate of youth unemployment half than that of France, and a more robust rate of growth.
Under these conditions, the anti-CPE demonstrations concern themselves with nonsense: "Job security is meaningless if you can’t find a job. The young can protest all they like, but the CPE would give them something a lot more gratifying to do."»
I’d hardly call extending the French exception to one more thing that makes them not fit into Europe an object of irony. The exception taken IS the irony. Identifying it and getting through the cultural bait-and-switch of how it’s discussed is the struggle. The Trib was right on the money here: it IS a social choice over whether or not to let an economy function naturally or burden it with every fool’s hope. Saying that high unemployment isn’t tied to this sort of anti-gravitational social intervention is an obvious sign of emotional resistance to reality.

Think about it: forcing an employer to keep an employee who isn’t working out is considered a social protection. It’s self-evident that a good employee is worth their weight in gold. Losing THEM is a nightmare. Having to carry the inept for 18-30 months after they’re ruining your business only assures one thing if you’re a difficult person or an idiot - that there’s less of a motive on anyone’s part to learn from your own mistakes and improve.

Rumsfeld to 5th Columnists

Get a life!

La risée de l'EU

An isolated hissy-fit country led by a President élu avec un score de roi-nègre. Chirak nous fait sa descente d'organes.

Never forgive, never forget

The French slowly realizing that things are serious? Too little, too late. France is a poison within Western society. Much more than a benign illness to be treated, it is a rotten limb of a 5th Column that must be amputated.

La Fwance

Hissy fit nation.

La haine des juifs: Ça paie les bananes !

Heard the one about the racist black comedian?



Cohen et Bokassa
Enfant Cohen : c'est mon ballon ! ah ! ah ! et j'ai pas le droit de la prêter ! ah ! ah !... Quand on a un ballon, on a pas le droit de le prêter ! ah ! ah !...
Enfant Bokassa : David ? David ?... Salut David, ça va ?
Enfant Cohen : ouais ! Ca va !
Enfant Bokassa : te cherchais !
Enfant Cohen : Ben, j'étais là ! ah ! ah !...
Enfant Bokassa : Houa ! Il est chouette ton ballon !
Enfant Cohen : Ben ouais ! Mais j'ai pas le droit de le prêter !
Enfant Bokassa : allez, prête ton ballon David !
Enfant Cohen : Non ! J'ai pas le droit !
Cohen : dis dont ! c'est à vous l'gamin là !
Bokassa : ah oui ! Il est à moi l'gamin là ! Oui, oui !
Cohen : Apparemment, c'est à vous ! enfin, j'me comprends !... Dis dont, on peut récupérer le ballon là ! Bokassa : ah non ! on peut pas récupérer le ballon là ! Non, non !
Cohen : parce que le p'tit, il vient d'être violenter là ! Par un animal sauvage, ché pas quoi ! Mais, il aurait les deux yeux crevés. Alors, j'vous prie de croire que ça va aller loin ! enfin, j'me comprends !
Bokassa : oh, dis dont ! Cohen ! Moi l'gamin, il est à l'hôpital, hein ! Cohen ! Il s'est fait toucher aux parties génitales, hein ! Les médecins ne peuvent même pas encore se prononcer, on sait même pas s'il va se reproduire un jour, hein !
Cohen : ah ouais ! et ben, ce serait peut-être pas un mal ! enfin, j'me comprends ! parce que dans la résidence, vous êtes un p'tit peu trop nombreux ! alors, ché pas, s'il y a un champ de coton dans l'quartier, ché pas ! J'veux pas l'savoir ! parce que déjà qu'on a le bruit et les odeurs ! enfin, j'me comprends !... Ca marche les allocations ? Ça paie les bananes ! enfin, j'me comprends !
Bokassa : faut pas dire ça Cohen ! J'comprends Cohen, c'est qu'en 45, les "boches", ils auraient pu finir le boulot ! Cohen !
Cohen : quoi ? Qu'est-ce que tas dit ? Qu'est-ce tas dit ? Vas-y répète ce que tu as dit !
Bokassa : ah ! tu veux que je répète Cohen, hein !... (BOKASSA RÉPÈTE EN LANGAGE AFRICAIN) ... Cohen : eh, Bokassa ! Tes chimpanzés qui courent partout dans la résidence, ils sont numérotés non ? parce que c'est pas un plus ou un de moins ! enfin, j'me comprends !... Vendredi, on organise un safari avec des voisins, et pis la pirogue que tu gares en bas du parking, il va falloir la mettre ailleurs ! on est pas en Afrique ici ! enfin, j'me comprends !
Bokassa : eh ! faut pas t'énerver comme ça Cohen ! hein ! Y'a pas marqué "palestinien" ! Cohen ! et pis, c'est pas dimanche, Cohen ! Tas pas mis les guirlandes et la galette là !...
Cohen : (IL REGARDE LE PUBLIC)... Oh ! Il y en a qui sont de mèche ou quoi ?
Bokassa : et alors Cohen ! je sais pas si c'est depuis qu'ils t'ont coupé la bistouquette, mais ça t'a rendu nerveux Cohen ! hein !... Avec ton look de moucheron, mon gosse de 5 ans, il aurait pu s'occuper de toi Cohen ! Ben maintenant Cohen, tu rentres chez toi, tu files ! hein ! vais t'en faire bouffer de la terre promise, tu vas voir !
Cohen : eh, "maousse costo" ! suis peut-être tout p'tit "rikiki" ! Mais j'vais t'éclater le nez moi ! vais broyer du noir ! Attention ! hein !
Bokassa : Attention Cohen ! parce que là ! Ca va être la boucherie Cohen, hein ! et pis celle-là, elle va pas être cachère ! tu vas voir hein ! (ILS FINISSENT PAR SE BATTRE COMME LEURS ENFANTS)

Friday, March 24, 2006

Paris au printemps

Rioting for job mob security.

Chiraq was trying to prove a point ...

... with his child like protest tantrum, but nobody noticed.

BD from the land of Leonard Cohen

If he's Danish AND American then it must be a provocation

Look which writer is nominated for France's best libertarian book of 2005.

The next great French economic idea will be to revive the 5 year plan

The French call it Colbertisme -- or ... the joys of protecting strategic yogurt production.

It's like some sort of forgotten commie shithole

Le monde nous regarde les yeux écarquillés. Plusieurs centaines de milliers de manifestants défilent dans les rues chaque semaine, certains élèvent des barricades, les services publics s’arrêtent… Pour un contrat d’embauche ! Qui plus est dans un pays qui vit au-dessus de ses moyens tout en battant des records de chômage ! Étrange pays qui donne l’impression de se crisper dès qu’il doit, même modestement, se réformer, et dont Bernard Kouchner a sans doute donné la meilleure des définitions : « Aux yeux de nombreux partenaires européens, a-t-il noté dans son livre les Guerriers de la paix, la France passe pour un pays de communisme résiduel. »
Il y a un siècle et demi, Tocqueville ne disait pas autre chose : « Les Français veulent l’égalité ; et quand ils ne la trouvent pas dans la liberté, ils la cherchent dans l’esclavage. » Un comportement que Maurice Druon a expliqué plus récemment dans un petit essai au titre explicite, la France aux ordres d’un cadavre, celui du communisme : « Écrasés sous une pyramide d’impôts, ligotés par un incroyable réseau de lois, de décrets et de circulaires dont la plupart sont inspirés, plus ou moins consciemment, par la lutte des classes, détournés par tous les moyens du sentiment national, les Français, quoi qu’ils en aient, ne sont plus des citoyens vraiment libres, mais deviennent de plus en plus des sujets soumis à toutes les dépendances, ce que furent les Russes pendant soixante-dix ans. » Dépendants en effet, comme on l’est d’un stupéfiant, les Français le sont de ce mythe de l’égalité au nom duquel on se rejoue, en toute occasion, les scènes de la Révolution, sans-culottes contre châtelains, ouvriers contre bourgeois, bref la lutte des classes.

La Fwance. Un pays de communisme résiduel.

Petit pays de merde toc

France's phoney revolution. On dirait du plastoc.

EU momentarily contemplates the value of democracy

Behold the Blair effect that the Guardian filed under “Iraq”. Even though they have a habit of thinking the following subject is entirely unrelated.

The web edition of the European Voice articulates a continent suddenly realizing that courting tyranny for no good reason is a real bummer, no matter how much of your crap that they’ll buy:

« Invigorated by the EU's limited options in dealing with countries such as Belarus, a number of proposals are circulating in the Council of Ministers, European Commission and European Parliament on how to improve the EU's efforts to foment democracy abroad.»
”Invigorated” might be the wrong term – how about “looking stupid and helpless”.

All we are saying is give war a chance.

Lisbon goals may not be achieved in Portuguese

Where’s Mister Language Person when you need him? An outraged French President of a certain description storms out of an EU meeting when a realist started speaking the “lingua franca” of business.

«Summit officials said the trio returned to the meeting only when Mr Chirac heard that Jean-Claude Trichet, the head of the European Central Bank, had started to speak in French.»

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Headline on Drudge

"French Anarchists Riot Again for Job Security..." Petit pays de merde.

Nations forgotten out of lack of maintenance

Brussels Journal’s very own Doctor Bombay Paul Belein explains why the fate of the left is either rather doomed, or will eventually cause western Europe to rot from the neck up:

«The electoral strength of the Left in Western Europe is increasingly based on the immigrant vote, as the Left caters for voters who favour extensive redistribution of taxpayers’ money to so-called “underprivileged” groups such as immigrants.»
The touchy subject of non-indigenous peoples seems to be at issue - or more to the point the lack of sophistication that new voters often have.
«The extent of the phenomenon, however, seems to have taken Wouter Bos by surprise. The Dutch electoral system works with lists of candidates. Once a party knows how many of its candidates are elected the seats go to the candidates on the list who attracted the most votes. Though some Muslim candidates were placed low in the list, on inconspicuous places where candidates usually have no hope of being elected, most of the Muslim candidates were elected anyhow, because the immigrant electorate voted almost exclusively along ethnic lines, casting their ballots always for candidates from their own circle and hardly ever for an indigenous Dutch candidate.»
Quite simply, if votes fall only along the racial lines of people "voting for their own", parties will eventually doom themselves to the irrelevance of the unproductive search for injustice under every “aboriginal’s” hat. Thereafter the only electoral distinction one could make with people who have few substantive attachments to the place they live is to quietly pander to their interests as foreigners, and not as Europeans. In other words, people of Chilean origin will vote based on a proposed policy on Chile, and the like. Their actual surrounding will go largely forgotten, especially in serious matters of how a society should organize itself, the role of government, and the like.

Therefore it’s not impossible that an openly pro-jihad or anti-woman government will take office somewhere, and that the best you’ll get is someone mumbling about “social justice” or some equally disingenuous phrase that people are conditioned into.

Picture that flaccid "whatever," or the talking in circles that will come after that, but right before the wimpers and soleful regrets.

Good news massaged with „release”

Absent from any discussion of the rescue of three peace activists who were kidnapped by those they were tacitly trying to enable, was the word “rescue.” Even Jack Straw nearly stumbled “something else” before haltingly mentioning that they were “released” in his announcement.

«"The three hostages Norman Kember, a British hostage, (and) two Canadian hostages, have been released as a result of a multi-national force operation which took place earlier today," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in London.»
In fact there was a release – by Iraqi and coalition troops. The animals who kidnapped the four ‘peacemakers’ (having already martyred one of them,) were permitted to flee unmolested.

The Beeb advocacy continues.

In a rare permission by the BBC to have an overt opinion statement which isn’t clouded by underhandedly calling it fact, Peace activist Bruce Kent’s statement was published on-line:
«We might have been separate in the past, but the Muslim community has been so helpful and so co-operative here, it needs as many thanks as anyone else. Of course I would like to thank the Foreign Office and, if it was the military that helped free him, then them too. But the Muslim community has really behaved in a wonderful way.»
IF? Of course not. If words are the only thing that matters, victims of kidnapping spontaneously free themselves, don’t they? In the strictures of the left's world-view, these might be the only people on earth who aren't victims. Do you see the irony in calling it a "release"?

Look at the political tack of the likes of those who hide behind the big tree of peace. Clearly, would they have been murdered, the “peace camp” would diminish the blow to the kidnappers by characterizing them as “mere criminals” who were just in it for the money. After all, evil AmeriKKKa took their jobs in the rape rooms away. Whereas, the reason isn’t that they were mere criminals at all. They were ideologues, crazy, and don’t understand the bad PR of what is in effect “friendly fire.” From the Telegraph (UK) of the 12th of March:
«The death of Mr Fox is particularly worrying because it indicates that the group holding the hostages is motivated by political beliefs rather than seeking a ransom. The peace workers had travelled to Iraq as a "gesture of solidarity" with the Canada-based group Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).

Friends of Mr Kember, from Pinner, Middlesex, spoke yesterday of their mounting concern.»
Worrying to some, but it should be illuminating to others. The 68'ers vision of peace doesn't just fail at home, it fails worldwide.

To each other, about each other, or across each other?

This has to be one of the oddest dialogues I”ve heard in a while. The American Interest bills the men in the ring: Bernard-Henri Lévy and American Interest editor Francis Fukuyama. The results are actually a bit more interesting than odd even though they seem to talk past each other. It’s a bit like “My Dinner With André” except that neither of them wants to play Wallace Shawn’s character.

Bernard-Henri Lévy: I, for one, certainly do not long for the time when Europe had leadership and was calling the shots among the nations! I know its failure well, and I also know the terrible assessment of what my friend Jean-Claude Milner called its "criminal inclinations." Consider the Armenian genocide. Consider the rise of fascist movements and the Spanish Civil War. Consider the implementation of the Final Solution of the alleged "Jewish question."

Consider even the next period, the one characterized by the gradual containment of communism and later by the support that had to be provided to the first democratic, anti-totalitarian movements in the countries of captive Europe. On each occasion Europe betrayed. Europe disavowed and made a mockery of its own values. Indeed, on each occasion, Europe was ready to strike the most cynical deals in order to preserve its interests. It's appalling, it's pathetic, but that's the way it is....

Francis Fukuyama: This, it seems to me, is the essential paradox you deal with in American Vertigo: Americans have this incredible energy, they've created a faux paradise in the desert at home and now they want to make deserts bloom in the Middle East. But they go about it in a clumsy and self-defeating way, and they have neither the imperial bloody-mindedness nor the steady judgment to see the project through. Maybe so. But if global leadership were left up to Europeans, they would either acquiesce in whatever exists, or they would make cynical deals to preserve their own narrow interests while talking about universal rights and justice.
Not to be missed. Read it all here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Will an x-box need to run playstation games too?

Forbes magazine on today’s ruling by the French National Assembly on proprietary standards used in iPods:

«Apple pointed to recent progress in popularizing legal downloads, a trend which could be dashed if iPod users could freely load their mini-jukeboxes with interoperable music files. "Free movies for iPods should not be far behind in what will rapidly become a state-sponsored culture of piracy," the company warned.
[ . . . ]
The question on everyone's lips is what will Apple do if this "state-sponsored piracy" does become law. Will it comply, or withdraw from the French online music market altogether?»

Simple Answers and Complex Problems

Although they exist in a complex microcosm, and although they may serve as Trojan horses in genetic therapy one day, it turns out that… viruses are the Americans' fault. (Oh, sorry, globalization's fault, we all know who brought that about.)

And what is the cause of the November crisis of the banlieues? Let's have a debate.

The Humanist Left gets what it's looking for

In fact, the French Left hasn't been looking to take down the youth employment contract (CPE). The French Left has been looking to create a martyr that it brandish in the months leading to the next Presidential election, and they now have one in the person of Cyril Ferez, a drunken idiot who stood in front of charging riot police and got his head cracked open.

Despite the radical nature of his statements, few large media outlets in Germany have picked up on Lafontaine's outrageous hate-mongering

In elevating the hate level by labelling Americans "terrorists", note that Oskar
Lafontaine didn't just blame anyone for America's perceived crimes. He didn't just vilify Bush or Republicans or conservatives. Instead, he shamelessly and indiscriminately wrote-off all Americans as terrorists. If that isn't evidence that the "New Left" is a radical, racist party, then we don't know what is.
Germany's media shows its usual courage…

The UN in action

UN slams Danes.

Clichés and Generalizations Are OK for Everybody — Except for the French

With a snotty attitude, Dominique Dhombres sneers that on
CNN, the BBC, Fox News, and all the usual suspects, you could see nothing but burning cars, masked thugs hurling cobblestones and fire extinguishers, CRS policemen going nuts, wounded lawmen, the Sorbonne under siege. Metal barriers flew through the air, as did the tear gas grenades. You would have thought that the entire country, and not only the Quartier Latin, was on fire. … If the camera pulls back [however], it is nothing more than a banal upholding of law and order.

No need to go back to the magnifying phenomenon that allows the foreign viewer to get a top-rate spectacle and, especially, to comfort him in his clichés: the storming of the Bastille, the barricades of May '68, Cosette, Gavroche, in one word, the Parisian street at the triple peril of History, musical comedies, and Hollywood.

(Oh yes, the author manages to throw in a few diatribes against Hollywood and American simplicity.) A few words for you, Monsieur Dhombres.

New Orleans.



I could go on.

You may remember Monsieur Dhombres. It was he who famously said that if only the rest of the continent could be made to see what a corrupt country and what a dangerous threat America was, then Europe might finally start to unite.

In a book review of Marc Lazar's L'Italie à la Dérive, Sophie Gherardi notes that the charges usually levelled at Silvio Berlusconi in France — "the vulgar buffoon, Big Brother, the Mafia capo, the new Mussolini, the low-level crook, the cynical millionnaire" — all just happen to be "anti-wop" clichés.

Being French means being allowed to be snotty about everybody else, caricature everybody else, and skewer everybody else (and first and foremost the Americans), while the slightest foreign hint that French society might not be totally up to par is to be immediately shot down — just like it was in Dhombres' most recent writings.

Achieving Lisbon, one escapee at a time

It’s not a sign of much, but major European states are enjoying a growing “remittance economy” sector. What began as a curiosity to travel has clearly grown into a need to find that job wherever that job is found. In a highly regulated job market, that also means abroad.

The IMF study goes into this a bit further, saying that these remittances TO the developed world are a meaningless percentage of their GDP. However, the phenomenon does say something about overgovernance, overregulation, and to governments trying to "manage economies" in various degrees.

Viva Mario Super!

Finally – a link between Ché and a member of the long suffering, hardworking proletariat, in this has a swarthy plumber who is not a Pole, but hustles around in workers paradise doomed to try escape the trap of barrels of alcohol. Yes, that’s right, Comrade Mario, A Cadre of One.

Adapting to "new circumstances”

«”We badly need France to adapt to new circumstances,” said Ernest-Antoine Seilliere, president of Unice, the European Union employers federation. “The issue is delicate, but we need reform and it has to go through and it will go through. You have to make it very easy for businesses to fire and very easy for businesses to hire.”

The CPE debate has generated questions about job security and the French social model, said William Keylor, a professor of international relations and history at Boston University and author of several books on France.

“It would never occur to an American looking for a job to expect that the employer would not be able to dismiss him or her to save money or for any other economic reason,'' he said. “But in France, the feeling is widespread that employment is a right and that the government must protect that right.”»
Don’t worry it could be worse:
«The protests gathered force after they united students, labor unions and the opposition Socialist Party.
The opposition Socialists have yet to come up with an alternative plan to cut unemployment, which in some French suburbs stands at more than 40 percent.»
It could be much worse: the Socialists' plan, if they had one.

Smiler, Zigo, Head Blow, and Agent Murphy Speak

Gérard Davet and Piotr Smolar have gone through the police depositions made by members of the Barbarian Gang that viciously tortured Ilan Halami in Bagneux. Meanwhile, it would seem that racist opinions have made headway in France, writes Laetitia Van Eeckhout, who has also interviewed Esther Benbassa and Jean-Christophe Attias. Still, a Le Monde editorial finds reason for… optimism. (It is true that this is nothing on the level of a Hurricane Katrina, n'est-ce pas?)

Meetings with Top Players in the Middle East

Patrice Claude has met Bush's Afghan in Iraq, aka Zalmay Khalilzad, and Gilles Paris has an article about PA PM Ismail Haniyeh, while Mouna Naïm interviews Jordan's king Abdallah II.

Why Would They Do a Thing Like That (Instead of Showing Trust in Their French Friends)?

It appears that the CIA has spied on France's nuclear program.

The Le Monde report hardly mentions that the spying effort was a generalized one.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ever Look at What the Kremlin, Red China, Various Third World Despots, or Iraq's Saddam Are (Were) Doing? No, I didn't Think So…

Jacques Chirac on international diplomacy (merci à RV):
I have one simple principle in foreign affairs. I look at what the Americans are doing and then do the opposite. That way I can be sure I'm right.

French mainstream politics' sacral treatment of the French social model: Think of France's mass demonstrations as religious processions

…coming in a place where capitalism still gets demonized in favor of worship of a romanticized revolutionary past (think of its mass demonstrations as religious processions), the Socialists' attempt by stealth to initiate change brought nothing
writes John Vinocur in the International Herald Tribune as he discusses "fuzzed-over issue[s]", "the airless rooms of French politics", and the French protests against Prime Minister Villepin and his government's attempt to relax job protection.
In a largely closed French political universe, Chirac's Gaullists tried instead to co-opt as its own the left's notions of a society where no element of individual risk is acceptable. Even more, it perpetuated hatred over simple mistrust of open markets. Result: the Chirac era reinforced the French reflex to regard change as an attack on social "acquis," a word meaning nonnegotiables in a language literally without an equivalent for those brutal Anglo-Saxons' notions of give-backs.

…Somehow, Villepin missed grasping that this collides not only with the myths and lies of French mainstream politics' sacral treatment of the French social model (Nicolas Sarkozy's stance is a potential exception), and its consecrated notions of employment by decree.

…If France fights against opening up its borders to workers at competitive wages from the rest of the European Union through the so-called Bolkestein directive, if Villepin demands "economic patriotism" and national industrial champions, if the government beats off foreign takeover attempts on French enterprises, then it perhaps deserves the contradiction of explaining to students how it would let French bosses hire folks more or less the way they do in awful places like Canada, Denmark and Sweden.

To be honest, the students in the streets themselves have changed in ways that reflect the airless rooms of French politics. Their call is not 1968's appeal to re-do the world, or for a just chance to show their stuff, but for guarantees, promises of security, risk-removers.

Among the disappeared


Free Hao Wu

Don’t connect the dots

One needs to keep the complaints about this in perspective. Whingers tried to pin on the White House the FBI’s inability to connect the dots while also blaming the White for enabling terror. How very tidy.

Political operators now find connecting any dots entirely unacceptable possibly due to potential embarassment to where it could lead. Another affront to those who just don’t understand that you can’t have it both ways:

«"The Sept. 11 hijackers made dozens of telephone calls to Saudi Arabia and Syria in the months before the attacks, according to a classified report from the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel," the Chicago Tribune reports:
According to the report, 206 international telephone calls were known to have been made by the leaders of the hijacking plot after they arrived in the United States--including 29 to Germany, 32 to Saudi Arabia and 66 to Syria
These are calls between al Qaeda terrorists and their associates, in which one side of the call is in the U.S. and the other is in another country--that is, just the kind of call the National Security Agency listened to under the terrorist surveillance program. Had such a program existed in 2001, it might have prevented 9/11--but if some journalists and Democrats are scandalized now, imagine how they would have howled in outrage if 9/11 hadn't happened.»
Talk about sad. Like the desire to frustrate public safety by American left, it also seems that Gerhard Schröder, the corn in civilization’s feces might have held quite a bit back from anyone else’s ability to connect the dots that would have pointed to 9/11.

Let's just call that his pride.

"Real" means you can be fired for incompetence

So does adulthood, in case you're wondering.

These kids need to grow up and get a life of their own.
The government isn't there to provide them with one.

Bonk bonk on the head!, demanded the little posers

Does anyone really believe that these kids are genuinely acting on their own initiative?
As for the system, it's already fucked.

Monday, March 20, 2006

March of the sophists

Writing in Time Magazine, James Graff does more than the monthly’s circumspect and distant coverage of the student movement for national mediocrity, the opposition to the CPE.


«The young — those most in need of a leg up — heaped scorn on a law intended to help them. Serbian-born Zeljko Stojanovic, 19, joined the march with fellow high school students of foreign origin from the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. "They want to close off immigration and doom young people to the lousy jobs nobody else will take," said Stojanovic, who wants to be an auto mechanic. "We're the ones who'll suffer if the bosses can just fire people without cause." Privileged university students saw matters no differently. Said Florian Louis, 22, a history student at the prestigious L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales: "Maybe you can talk about labor flexibility in England or America, where there are lots of jobs. But not here. France wants no part in a race to the bottom." Neither young man seemed to understand how labor flexibility created those jobs in Britain or the U.S., underscoring the failure of the government to make a persuasive case for its policies.

[ . . . ]

But dumping an unpopular policy would leave the larger problem unanswered: How to modernize France? Jobs will not spring magically into being if the hated employment law is abandoned. Eventually, structural reforms will be needed to transform France's prospects — »

Graff quotes André Glucksmann who himself seems to be recycling a "class theory" concept which is so dated, it could only apply to a European nation-state:
«"Every generation we have a war, a revolt or a revolution," he says. "That's how we recycle our élite." Rising to the top of preliminary polls for the presidency are politicians who propose new ways of doing business: Sarkozy, who talks of a "rupture from the policies of the last 30 years," and Socialist Ségolène Royal, who has scandalized her party leadership by praising Tony Blair's pragmatic market policies. They'll hear none of that at the Sorbonne these days. But for all the fury last week, even France can't resist the winds of change forever.»

Just in the past hours a general strike has been called. The cleptocracy smells blood and wants no part of modernity in spite of the obvious harm it will do to their own social model: the whacky commune will be disbanded due to poverty. Not just a material one, but from a dearth of functioning ideas of how a society can positively sustain itself.
(Photo credit: 20 minutes)

Who said your vote didn’t count?

Only if it was a NO vote. As such, BOHICA:

«Two years from now, the European constitution will be in force - certainly de facto and probably de jure, too. Never mind that 15 million Frenchmen and five million swag-bellied Hollanders voted against it.»

Life is static. Nothing should ever change. Feed me.

"Contract for slavery"

Carine at E-nough captures what these "well educated" spoiled wastrels are thinking.
«Police loosed water cannons and tear gas on rioting students and activists rampaged through a McDonald's and attacked store fronts in the capital Saturday as demonstrations against a plan to relax job protections spread in a widening arc across France.»
How completely unaware they must be not to realize the nearly innumerable people worldwide who had their first job at McDonald’s, developed useful WORK HABITS (like showing up on time and cooperating,) and as a result, and actually WENT ON TO OTHER THINGS.

Yes, It’s true. It IS possible to go on to bigger and better things. The world is not flat.

"Work is a climate controlled gulag"

Silly rabbit - you though they actually WANTED jobs.

On the other hand, ignoring everything these emotional hostage takers have to say naturally has a cruel and inhumane outcome - starvation, class warfare, no 'solidarity', blah, blah, blah... basically the Hieronymus Bosch world that an 18 year old Trostkyite with ALL THAT life experience says there is.
«U.S. college graduates are facing the best job market since 2001, with business, computer, engineering, education and health care grads in highest demand, a report by an employment consulting firm showed on Monday.

"We are approaching full employment and some employers are already dreaming up perks to attract the best talent," said John Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

In its annual outlook of entry-level jobs, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said strong job growth and falling unemployment makes this spring the hottest job market for America's 1.4 million college graduates since the dot-com collapse in 2001.

The firm pointed to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers which showed employers plan to hire 14.5 percent more new college graduates than a year ago.»
Goodness me. The horror.

A million marching, but for whom?

The onerous conditions placed on employers creates an environment where valuable people, for the obvious financial reasons HAVE to be exploited wherever they can. I’ll say it again – these “contracts,” especially the CDI (INTERMINABLE employment contract,) is painful for the whole society because it curbs growth. This is basically a case of wanting what you think is good for you so much, that you’re willing to rob the young of their future.

The problem is that these ‘yoots’ have grown up in an environment of factional political warfare where resources are intentionally made meager. They have been trained into the notion that only as a anonymous mob of Stepford children can they find some of the basic comforts in life that has become a standard expectation in the developed world.

The INTENTION is that no-one should ever, ever, ever fall ‘through the cracks.’ It’s reasoned rationalized that a lover rate of growth, worse pay, etc., etc., etc. is accepted for just that. It’s a load of yak dung. Even the union mobs have been sold a bill of goods.

Here is what one hard-done language instructor (who is an avid reader of this blog) tells us:

«The very designation of 'vacataire' is expressly forbidden by the French 'Code du Travail'. Nevertheless, the French Ministry of Education and the various university rectors continues to employ hundreds of language teachers classified as such.

I write concerning the situation of several hundred 'vacataire' language instructors at various campuses in Paris and the provinces. Our working conditions in terms of even the most minimal interpretation of French labor laws are probably the very worst in France: no contract, no guarantee of being re-hired from one semester to the next, no sick leave, no vacation pay, no retirement credit for hours worked, salaries paid once every six months (in certain cases, once a year) the case of the current lockdown of the universities, no payment whatsoever for the classes that we can no longer teach..

When one realizes that everyone from the cleaning staff to our French colleagues will receive their normal salary no matter how long the strike lasts, the injustice of the situation becomes unbearable.

To this end - and by means of cut-and-pasted email listings of faculty members - I've started sending out an anonymous newsletter to all those concerned, including our very unconcerned French colleagues. It comes as no surprise that to date, not one of the latter has responded.

In short, it looks like we're out there alone. As usual.
As such, I've decided to try to find additional exposure of the situation.»
So he started a newsletter.
«Even if the Fac were vaporised tomorrow, everyone from the President all the way down to the cleaning staff would continue to receive a salary. Unions, collective agreements, contracts and labor legislation protect their interests. If past experience is any indication, the only losers in the present situation will be the 'vacataires' - who are not even covered by as precarious a contract as the one the students and nearly two-thirds of the French public are rejecting. A group of students decide to shut down the university and we have to pay for the imposed holiday. Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?»
He continued, having had little response. Those that he received had a tone of fearfulness and frustration.
Dear Fellow Turkeys,

«It would appear that Liberty, Fraternity and Equality have their limits. Let's not even consider the concept of fair-play.

Nevertheless, three responses from our own group of galerians did come in, which I'll (anonymously) detail here, along with my own observations below.

1. "There is definitely a LOT wrong with this picture. I could go on forever, but "bottom line”, is there any action we can concert our efforts to take?.... We get paid as rarely as we do, as if at 6-month intervals they have no accounting departments, and as if we choose to work as vacatire because it's a vacation/holiday, and not a "vacation”/chargé de cours position. I've yet to have the surprise of being paid early. Getting paid late, on the other hand, where entire months can lapse as if they were minutes to the accountants, and where we are in the red, that is practically a given. We do our job with the conscientiousness of any "contractuel", and while we have to count our blessings for having work, there is abuse and that has to stop.

Please let me know if you have the wish and the possibility to make a plea for payment to the rectorat. There is a mutual agreement at the outset to fulfill a certain number of hours, and if the vacataires are present to fulfill their end of the obligation, and are also there because they have their bills to pay, the Rectorat should be pressed to honour their side of the bargain. My working conditions are such that I don't even have time to initiate action, but whenever I bump into vacataires, the isolated, individual response is the same sentiment you described. Is there any way we can make our own case collectively?

- A 'plea for payment' to the Rectorat, my dear? When did pleading get anyone anywhere with the Rectorat?
As for being paid in six-month intervals, I know people who are paid ONCE A YEAR - and still have to jump through absurd hoops just to get that yearly payment. By the way, I don't want to ruin your appetite, but has anyone ever asked themselves if our teaching hours at the various Facs are taken into account for our retirement pensions? I've heard bad and unbelievable things about this....

2. "Regarding the message on the Vacataires, has anyone seen any mention of
Vacataires during this whole debate? Are we just a well-kept secret? If so, is it our fault for not having a spokesperson?"

- We are indeed a well-kept and dirty little secret. So secret, in fact, that people either have no idea - or no interest - in our existence. As for having a spokesperson, how can non-persons have a spokesperson? A pure contradiction in terms, Watson.

3. "Well said... let's form a union!'' - Umm....there already is one, the SNES-SUP. Dogs and Vacataires need not apply. No, not really: I'm being unfair. They will be more than happy to accept your(paid) membership. For the rest, the buck (and the bang) stops right there.Don't hold your breath for any collective action on our behalf. First things first, and we're at the very end of the agenda.

As for me, unless the situation improves on campus I'm facing my third (or is it my forth) week of unpaid 'vacation'. Such is the enviable existence of the Vacataire-Dindon. Like it or lump it. After all, no one ever asked us to come to France and teach, did they?¨»
The will be forced to organize, I suppose – and join that Borg Collective that feed the same beast that dispossessed them. The same one that has CAUSED the high unemployment that the mall-punks are rioting over.

If they can’t convince anyone that the idiotic and medieval employment structure isn’t failed, they’ll have to resort to looking out for themselves. While the quality of what they do will contribute to the well being of society, it will be undermined and tainted by the way the whole thing is ginned up to create and maintain a fake ‘proletarian’ model which is an aristocracy, not a meritocracy, nor terribly fair in any real way.

We wish these folks the best of luck. They are similar to the self-employed, except with institutions holding their payment back and have an institutional model to help them do it.

Anyone wishing to contact the author of the newsletter author can write to him through me, and I’ll pass the messages on.

Confusing confrontation with politics

The generation that never learned tries again.

Even many on the left thinks they're nuts.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Clown subculture having a Wagnerian moment

Marcher passes the fruits of his work

They're on a rampage to protect a labour aristocracy.

So he isn't David Hasselhoff...

Still, imagine Dog the Bounty Hunter dubbed in German. It's almost impossible to imagine how they would see this except perhaps as an inverted and corrupted form of the 68er.

Who among the apologists will oppose THIS death penalty?

Mohammed al-Asadi an editor who published "those cartoons" in Yemen will be facing the death penalty. The same one that Theo van Gogh and many others have.

"I don't regret printing those cartoons. I was defending the Prophet, I was defending Islam against those who wish to use the religion to create conflicts and maintain their grip on power,"
As for those who think that not seeing evil means imagining it away, here is a sketch of how their dream-world would function when faced with an existential challenge.

Think for a moment about these famous last words.