Saturday, April 08, 2006

Strategic Yogurt production - explained, sort of...

Socialists are learned fools. The difficulties of mathematic tend to scare them out of fields of science and mathematics, and as a branch of the social sciences, economics is best done with a solid mathematical basis. So it comes as a bit of a surprise to find a 59 year old economics instructor who finally comes to the realization that markets can work, and that the social component is made up of something more than the passion play of “the bosses” and “the workers.” Compound that with the fact that people who work by stocks, and the walls of the Marxist edifice keeping reality out starts to leak rather quickly.

The left uses academia as a way of planting its’ ideas deep into the ground of civilization, and rarely accepts the breadth of ideas or the evenhandedness that characterize good research. Nonetheless, observing people in the process of working and running business is unavoidable. From the IHT:
Danielle Scache tries to avoid using the term "capitalism" in her economics class because it has negative connotations in France.

Instead, she teaches her high school students about the market economy, a slightly less controversial term she started using last year after a two-month internship at the dairy giant Danone. That was an experience that did away with more than one of her own prejudices, she said.

"I was surprised to see that people actually enjoyed working in a company," said Scache, who is 59. "Some of them were more enthusiastic than many teachers I know."


In a 22-country survey published in January, France was the only nation disagreeing with the premise that the best system is "the free-market economy." In the poll, conducted by the University of Maryland, only 36 percent of French respondents agreed, compared with 65 percent in Germany, 66 percent in Britain, 71 percent in the United States and 74 percent in China.

The findings suggest that French reluctance to introduce flexibility into the labor market - the embattled new law makes it easier to fire young workers - goes beyond the reform fatigue and nostalgia for the post-World War II welfare state evident in some other European countries. As Finance Minister Thierry Breton put it last week: "There is a significant lack of economic culture in our country."
Then there’s the indoctrination which is meant to inoculate a student against reality:
And then there are the textbooks. One, published by Nathan and widely used by final-year students, has this to say on p. 137: "One must analyze the salary as purchasing power that you could not cut without sparking a deflationary spiral and thus higher unemployment." Another popular textbook, published by La Découverte, asks on p. 164: "Are there still enough jobs for everyone?" It then suggests that the state subsidize jobs in the public sector: "We can seriously envisage this because our economy allows us already to support a large number of unemployed people."
The truth of this form of economics is even simpler. If you can't make an economy function with concocted theories of that sort, you end up having to rewire nature somehow and accept the inherent flaws and inefficiencies that actually keep everyone poorer. The public is thus punished to prove a weak idea, and made dependant on it to make it indelible. What starts as a desire to please them make a slave out of them.
Thus protectionists, in the words of one economist, "want to do to their own country during peacetime what the country's enemies would wish to do to it during wartime--that is, close its borders to imports."
How this works in a transnational-union-cum-nation, I just don't know. Especially when it comes to harmonising labour practices and "domestic" ownership.

If the intent is to create jobs of stop the bleeding of trade and employment, it also seems like a low performing excercise in pandering and nationalist corporatism. It also eerily reeks of Nazism which remandered industries and constructed an immense welfare state, controlling everything in society that it could.

Economist Walter Williams has explained on many occasions just how flawed any legal measure can be in changing the way an economy functions:
The idea that minimum wage legislation is an anti-poverty tool is simply sheer nonsense. Were it an anti-poverty weapon, we might save loads of foreign aid expenditures simply by advising legislators in the world's poorest countries, such as Haiti, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, to legislate higher minimum wages.
Basically the only effective thing a government can do to positively influence the position of people in an economy is not cause harm to the forces that cause hiring to occur, or the forces that permit salaries to float. Intervention makes them only seem to stop them from floating upward and outsize the cost of living to earnings. That gap is the poverty issue in a nutshell, and no legislative campaign of leftist style good intentions can change that.

Berlusconi gets the Bush treatment

Euro-journalism as the height of sophistication, thoughtfulness, and nuance.

From Saturday’s Le Monde.
Don’t miss the flies, the saucepans, or the fact that the artist drew him spanking his sopressata*.

* click on the nose for wisdom.

Pasqua Indicted in the Oil-for-Food Scandal? Hardly a Big Deal, N'est-ce pas?

While Corine Lesnes' two articles on Bush's so far informal troubles, regarding Plamegate as well as the war against terror (articles using harsh words and expressions filled with emotion and whose only domestic quotes come from opponents of the president, quotes which effectively end the article), take up two thirds of a page in the foreign affairs section on page 4; Gérard Davet's single straight-forward, matter-of-fact, ho-hum article on Pasqua's formal indictment in the oil-for-food scandal (Le Monde seems to have waited two or three days after the indictment before printing the piece) is relegated to a sixth of a page (it takes up a quarter page only if you count the Pessin cartoon) in the Politique & Société section on page 14.

A large bulk of the text is filled with quotes by the former interior minister, fellow defendents (and companies implicated, such as Total), and their lawyers (justifications, denials, accusations of witch-hunts, etc).

Okay, okay, so we've reported it. See? See how fair we are? Okay, enough already. Now that that's done — and over with (will you get over it, already?!) — let's get back to serious matters: castigating that horrendous Halliburton, castigating that awful Dubya (i.e., see the top Corine Lesnes article), and castigating that unforgiveable support that Bush has extended to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Never heard of ‘im, Guv!

Odds on, the issue will be raised in the press if for no other reason that to make the present government pay a price for their attempt to introduce some social and economic realism and sustainability to the intellectual landscape.

Among (psychological) avoiders, everything is about something else as soon as it turns serious, or until the emotional blackmail starts to look useful. Case in point:
«For [Royal], the new jobs law, which would allow younger workers to be hired and fired more easily, is "a scandal" and "a form of violence" against the youth of France.»
See? Violence has just been defined downward – and it’s all about the (26 year old) children.

As for the Pasqua affair, the only thing stopping the reds and greenies from kicking with both feet is that it might infer some legitimacy to deposing Iraq's longstanding tyrant.

After all, it establishes as moral standard which may require action again elsewhere.

Weapons, Weirdos, and Uniforms

Sigh. Le Monde 2 features Martin Kollar's photo portfolio on "another vision of America". As might be expected, the focus throughout is on weapons, weirdos, uniforms (or uniformity), and the lack of security…

Much more interesting is 20 years' worth of Hiroshi Hamaya photos from his native Japan…

"Les Français sont en train de scier la branche sur laquelle ils sont assis et s'accrochent alors même que l'arbre est en train de pourrir"

When a law gets enacted by the president of the land, but he says it must not be applied, what is this called?
asks Meg Bortin.
"Abracadabrantesque" is a word the French are using to describe the odd situation facing the country now that President Jacques Chirac has signed his government's youth employment contract into law, while at the same time instructing employers not to use it to hire anyone.

The law has been in effect since Sunday. On Monday, Labor Minister Jean- Louis Borloo caused more bemusement by sending a letter to 220 employer organizations repeating that they should not use the new law for hiring, and informing them that his ministry would not be printing any contracts of the type authorized by the law.

Never the sort to bow to authority, the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné announced Wednesday on its front page that it had nonetheless hired a 25-year-old fellow under the new First Employment Contract, known here as the CPE.

"Nothing could be simpler," it said. "No form, no paperwork to fill in, it can be done in a split-second."

The newspaper also printed a catalog of words commentators have used to describe France's current predicament: "absurd," "incomprehensible," "surreal," "calamitous" and many more.

"Abracadabrantesque," which made the list, was used after Chirac addressed the nation on television Friday night to try to resolve the crisis, which has brought more than a million people into the streets. The head of the opposition Socialists' parliamentary group, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called Chirac's plan an "abracadabrantesque construction" concocted "in the singular aim of reconciling the diktat of his prime minister with the refusal of the French."

The Czechs and Slovaks don't seem to feel much sympathy for the "anachronistic" worries of the French or for "frigid", "sclerotic", and "lazy" France, write Martin Plichta and Anne Rodier, while Jean-Pierre Langellier interviews Chris Patten.
Le problème, c'est qu'ils résistent de plus en plus aux changements qui affectent, surtout, la qualité de vie de certains groupes bien protégés. Les étudiants défendent leur droit à un emploi à vie même si cela maintient au chômage beaucoup d'autres gens. C'est une manière excessivement conservatrice d'envisager la solidarité sociale.

La majorité des étudiants veulent être fonctionnaires. Il est admirable que les Français continuent d'être aussi fiers de servir leur Etat. Mais leur manque d'esprit d'aventure, cette volonté de faire la même chose toute leur vie, je trouve cela assez déprimant.…

On a dit aux Français pendant des années que leur modèle social était parfait. Il est donc difficile de changer de message, à moins d'expliquer clairement le but à atteindre. D'un autre côté, je ressens une certaine sympathie pour un premier ministre qui essaie d'améliorer ce modèle. Dans ce genre de situation, il y a toujours des gens qui disent, après coup, qu'ils s'y seraient mieux pris.

Oui, peut-être… M. de Villepin a au moins essayé. Le pire pour la France et pour ses nombreux jeunes chômeurs serait de renoncer purement et simplement aux réformes.

Pour moi l'essentiel, c'est d'expliquer de manière intellectuellement convaincante que la France ne peut opérer, avec son économie sophistiquée, derrière une sorte de ligne Maginot. L'Europe a besoin d'une France forte et confiante. Sans cela, on est condamné à une croissance chancelante, et on ne pourra résoudre les vrais problèmes démographiques qui nous assaillent.…

D'une personne à l'autre, les styles politiques diffèrent. Mais les syndicats ont-ils vraiment le rôle de faire descendre périodiquement les gens dans la rue pour empêcher les réformes? C'est économiquement inepte et politiquement égoïste.

Will the French ever learn? Don't bet on it. Acknowledging European scepticism, Alain Touraine uses a "but" to come down in favor of French sensibilities. As for the Czechoslovak story, by the use of their vocabulary, typically, the MSM reporters spin it in a favorable way for …the French (the few "solidaristic Czechs", those who are "understanding" and show "sensitivity", are mentioned by Plichta and Rodier, as opposed to the Slovak press which …"went wild").

Elle avait plus de couilles que Chiraq

Ses couilles sur un plateau ? N'est pas Thatcher qui veut. La Fwance, pays d'EUnuques.

Friday, April 07, 2006

When is Election Called a Coup?

We finally start to see the US MSM doing what the western Euro-lefty media have been pissing their pants over: lefty revolutionaries acting out the feelings of well-to-do lefties in the developed world, and are otherwise pleased by ANYTHING they think will upset the US. Today Peru, tomorrow the world, but not for them. They still need the capitalism that props up what's left of the first world economies, I guess.

Then again, the White House seems like it couldn't care less, as long as an election is representative and free. The fact is that the ones who have shown themselves to be really fearful of free elections are the ones who seem to find themselves unable to live with their outcomes.

«Then came Bolivia, where President Evo Morales, a socialist and former coca grower, won a landslide victory in December. Morales has been in office just two months, and although he hasn't instituted any major economic reforms yet, a picture of Che Guevara already hangs in the presidential palace.»
The want to call it a shoe-in another step in an October revolution. My Peruvian sources say it’s more like a toss up as the Buenos Aires Herald is reporting.

So much for an unbiased media that takes care to not influence public opinion, attitudes, and the zeitgeist. In the even of a victory for the candidate of the right, the word ‘coup’ is sure to pop up somewhere.

How would these same scribblers act if someone suggested to them that they should make their last vote count?

EU cuts off aid to the Pali death cult

Perhaps a fevered moment, possibly a flash of awareness, but hopefully a newfound notion of common sense.

After all without the sight of the stick, what good is a carrot?

"I ask you this from the bottom of my heart", Mr President

Watch the extent to which members of the audience rise in defence of the mainstream media on this ABC News program when President Bush is asked about the negative media coverage in Iraq (Danke zu Davids Medienkritik).

"With Berlusconi in the Government, the Situation Is Worse Than It Has Ever Been Here", Says a Mafia Opponent in Sicily

Typical. Only days before Italy heads towards electons, France's MSM chooses to dredge out a story on the Sicilian mafia in which Marie-Claude Decamps incriminates Berlusconi, the man who, we are told, "has isolated his country in Europe" (é vero; because of Iraq, Italy is isolated from such countries as Britain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, etc, etc, etc), whereas Prodi's Italy "would follow a more nuanced line".

Coming to a Bookstore Near You…

Due out on May 12:

BBC nose-candy advertised as straight dope

The BBC’s very own “Mr. Breathless” is at it again, this time with (surprise, surprise) what blogress Adloyada calls sympathy for the terrorists.

I though they hit bottom last night when they kept on gushing all over Valerie Plame – hype, patrimony, political setup, and treason notwithstanding, and unmentioned since the facts of story don't fit the world view they have.

They really need to cut it out with their usual “concerned-lefty” political schtick when it comes to wondering why the rest of the world doesn’t think like them. At least Justin Webb has a grasp of it – Biased-BBC profiles a comment he had on America’s favorite crypto-commie news elf which strikes me to just as funny as it is telling about the American left's ongoing campaign to appear somewhat normal.

Why la Pensée Unique Dominates in France and Europe

The Wall Street Journal was writing about the Supreme Court and America, but we are sure the average reader of this blog will be able to figure out how this translates into la pensée unique in France:
The writer graciously allowed that Justice Kennedy's "views are evolving" (translation: becoming more liberal), and that there is something "refreshing about a justice who genuinely seems to have an open mind" (translation: someone who doesn't vote with Antonin Scalia). Overall point: Keep it up, sir, and we'll soon be elevating you to the pantheon with Brandeis, Black and Brennan.

Federal appeals-court judge Laurence Silberman once shrewdly described this media practice as the "Greenhouse effect." He was referring to the fact that a Justice who voted in politically correct fashion would receive laudatory coverage by New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, the alpha liberal of the Supreme Court press pack. If the Justice typically joined with conservatives, however, he'd soon find himself characterized as somebody else's clone, or not very bright, or a traitor to his race, or some other derogation.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Where Are the Mickey Mouse Ears?…

Nearly four decades after his death, the legend of Che Guevara has grown worldwide. In this new book, Alvaro Vargas Llosa separates the myth from the reality of Che's legacy, and shows that Che's ideals were a re-hash of notions about centralized power that have long been the major source of suffering and misery in the underdeveloped world. With testimonies from witnesses of Che's actions, Alvaro Vargas Llosa's detailed account of the "real Che" sets the record straight by exposing the delusion at the heart of the Che phenomenon. Vargas Llosa shows that Che's legacy—making the law subservient to the most powerful, crushing any and all dissent, and concentrating wealth under the guise of "social equality"—is not the solution to poverty and injustice but is the core of the problem.
Alvaro Vargas Llosa is the director of the Center on Global Prosperity at The Independent Institute, the coauthor of The Guide to the Perfect Latin American Idiot, and the author of Liberty for Latin America (gracias para Arthur Wneir — post updated with suggested links from our readers).

Book browsing

I tried to find a copy of the Livre Noir du Communisme today. The FNAC aux Halles didn't have it so I went over to the FNAC Ternes. They had the Livre Noir de la Condition Féminine prominently placed, but still no Black Book of Communism. Here are some of the books that were positioned center stage:

Culture du nouveau capitalisme : "New Capitalism" written by an NYU nutcase.
Made in America, le déclin de la marque USA : the decline of America as a 'brand'

Prisonnier 325 Camp Delta : De Vénissieux à Guantanamo : Prisoner 325 Delta Camp : from Vénissieux (French shithole suburb outside of Lyon) to Gitmo (... and back, we hope)
La filière terroriste du FBI contre Cuba : The FBI's accusations of terrorist against Cuba
La Chute de la CIA (l'histoire vraie qui a inspiré le film Syriana) : The Fall of the CIA (with a bright red banner wrapped around bragging that this is the true story that inspired the film 'Syriana').

« Leaders d'opinion sur la toile »

But it depends on your opinion, of course...

In a desperate attempt to seem modern, tuned in, 'n all that, Al-Jazeera sur Seine covers bloggeurs, et les internauts. Boasting big ooh-la-la numbers, one of them gets less traffic than ¡No Pasarán! does on a Sunday, (our slowest day of the week,) one that gets a tenth of our monthly visitorship, and one with “most trafficked days” roughly one 8th of ours’.

The one blog doing better that our dear little innisfree of advertising free blogginess (which we do for fun) was the editor of a literary magazine who appears on TV yackity-yack programming endemic in a media-space where public figures talk about themselves for fun and profit. We spread the love for less...

But did they call us? Noooooooooo! What are we, chopped liver?!? Just for that, I’m cribbing their bloggy artwork!

So there. Besides, where do they get off ignoring those who entertain their readers and manage to be transatlantic to boot?

Pfft! We gauge what we do by the quality of our hate-mail anyway. The less intelligible it is the more amusing we find it.

Comment of the Month

It's when we see comments like Thorvald's that we realize that our work on the No Pasarán weblog has not been in vain. Some of our French commentators, as he points out, illustrate
the basic problem with France: there is no rational centrist mainstream — everybody (even normal-seeming people) seems to be a whack job, whether right (like Young European who says being a Nazi is OK) or left (like Ant1 who loves socialism). Where are the rational centrist Français who have a realistic view of the world, and who are NOT paranoid schizophrenic?

A sign of Suxxes.

When the deeply intolerant attack, you know that you’re doing something right.

The Blogmeister who brought you France-Echos, and “Le Blog,” – the English language edition of the same reports that those who would 'defend to the death their right to never be disagreed with' are out again, and instead of playing with matches this time, they're crashing websites. We all know how persuasive an argument that is.

Hello world,

France-Echos (French and English editions) was attacked by Islamic Tyrants.

If they attacked us, it is because we annoy them.

Indeed. Humorless twits who admire headchoppers... who would have guessed?

French girls gone wild: Rasta Kezia can open an entire six pack of Kronenbourg with her pussy in under 30 seconds - it's true, it's true !!!

Bottle breaking, belt whipping, club swinging French chicks do their thing (when they are not luring young French Jewish guys into kidnap and torture schemes -- which is their day job, of course).

15 minutes later, the girls from the 13th come out of nowhere. The 9-3 gang moves on. "Mimi" is down. Clubbed in the face and the legs she gets up and attempts to flee. A girl comes up from behind and breaks a bottle over her head. Four more girls, wielding "fashion" belts, whip her face with the metal buckles.

What will be has always been

In these last years there have been and still is much talk of Europe and European civilization, of anti-Europe and and forces opposed to European civilization, and so on. Appeals, articles in newspapers, discussions and polemics: in all the word “Europe” has been tossed around with unusual frequency, for good reasons and bad. But if we stop to analyze a little more closely what is meant by “Europe” we immediately become conscious of the enormous confusion which reigns in the minds of those who talk about it.
- Federico Chabod, Storia dell’idea d’Europa, 1943-44

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bush to a French Official: "Tell the Syrians I am an Evil Unilateralist!"

An in-depth (sic) article on the partial healing of the French-American rift has been written by Sylvie Kauffmann and Natalie Nougayrède (as well as an article on the Iranian and Indian nuclear program) — and wouldn't you know that the rift was mainly America's fault?

It all boils down to French bashing, we learn from the very first paragraph, "an organized campaign" from Washington without, it is alleged, any real cause or basis. What goes unmentioned, in this article as well as in the French media in general when discussing this subject: the very real, and not at all unjustified, sense of betrayal on the Americans' part, especially given the fact that the Americans felt they were being deceived (worse, lied to) and this when they were going to war, i.e., putting their servicemen in harm's way — a war that a sizable minority of Frenchmen hoped the Americans would lose. And for all that, what also goes unmentioned is the fact that Americans in general do not either bash a scapegoat in particular (unlike France's America-bashing) and when they do so, it is of a rather low-key nature (renaming French fries, pouring Russian vodka down the drain during the Kremlin's Afghanistan invasion, jokes on Jay Leno and David Letterman).

In fact, while the French shake their heads at these (very) moderate expressions of disagreement and anger and complain about them in the most scandalized of tones, they fail to even acknowledge the fact that by being, in the final analysis, low-key, these symbolic gestures let the French get off easily. (Contrary to the regular ransacking of McDonald's outlets, there do not seem to have been many French people or French property harmed in the States.)

The rift also boils down to the Americans' tendency to see a bipolar world, the article states; those who are for us and those who are against us. Pray tell me, what does the French version amount to, if it isn't a bipolar world; those lucid beings who join in opposing the destructive Yanks on the one hand and, on the other, the Yanks in question and those poodles who follow them. The French bipolar view is another thing that is rarely delved into by the French media. By comparison with the scorn levelled at the poodles (the authors have no compunction in the matter-of-fact use of the expression "petits télégraphistes [de Bush]", a scornful dismissal of Spain's Aznar from 2003) and with the fury adressed to those who don't buy into (France's vision of) European unity, I find — strangely enough — America's vision far less caricatural. (Speaking of José Maria Aznar, here is an instance of France showing its vaunted European unity and leading by example.)

In-between, we find more inherent criticism of the Americans and praise of French opposition thereto, from the the description of Michel Barnier as a "more inoffensive" foreign minister than Dominique de Villepin, whom he replaced (suggesting that active opposition to Uncle Sam was, by its very nature, a good thing); to the justification of, and apology for, French diplomats' "horrified" reaction to Bush's vision of a greater Middle East; through the comment, so typical of the French: "The Americans were surprised by this loyalty" on the Lebanon crisis (as if the reactionary Americans were/are too stupid to realize how wise the French have been all the time).

Of course, the whole piece comes down to wise and lucid French operatives — and the occasional lucid American — doing their best — they are "encouraged" by (rare) instances of American lucidity — to try to overcome the differences.

Then, of course, there is the fact that the man who brought up the idea of the "freedom fries", North Carolina congressman Walter Jones, has disavowed the idea. He also seems to have become one of the most ardent critics of the Iraq war.

What does that mean? In the French mind, it means nothing less than this: "See? We were right all along. See? See? See?" If somebody agrees with the French, that only goes to show how wise he is. If somebody disagrees with the French, that only proves how dimwitted he is. The best option in that case is to wait — wait, wait, wait — until they see the light and their opinion changes; thus, French citizens may rest reassured: French policy is always right and, in the end, everybody will eventually come to see that France had only the best intentions all along.

You may recall that in his chat, Patrice Claude said that while yes, before the Iraqis were very anti-French, now he claims that they call France "a friend", implying that for reasonable people, Paris's friendship with Saddam Hussein is forgotten and forgiven. That is also what is expected of the Americans; if only they were reasonable (sigh) and didn't live in the past, they would put the Franco-American rift behind them…

That is how the French conveniently (albeit alas for them, blindedly) dismiss the opinions of those — from governments to individuals, from foreigners to fellow Frenchmen — who don't agree with their self-serving world view.

It Is Easier to Denounce Symbols, Even Fake Ones, Such As Those From the Thatcher Era, Than to Face Reality

Hélas, il est plus facile de dénoncer des symboles, mêmes faux, comme ceux datant de Mme Thatcher, que de regarder la réalité en face.
Jean-Pierre Langellier heads for London to ask Arnaud Vaissié and Pascal Boris of the Cercle d'outre-Manche what those British-based Frenchmen think of the CPE and to get the gist of the reality inherent to the alleged inhumanity of the Anglo-Saxon capitalist system…

Filthy racaille

"Vous filmez, bande de porcs?" They're too stupid to know that if you kick someone who is already down, you use both feet.

Mixed up in that watch theft

A man sees an old friend on the street and says, "I haven't seen you in a long time. You were mixed up in that watch theft, weren't you?" The friend replies, "Yes, I was the man who had his watch stolen."

Caspar W. Weinberger

Do you think he REALLY wants to know?

C(onneries) dans l'air asks: 'How France is seen by the world'.

Idiot boy tried to peddle the 'a large majority of Americans have come around to France's way of thinking re Iraq.' Wrong. The French didn’t originate the idea. A undercurrent and world view which always says the same thing even before it has facts originated it. It marched “against the (non-existent) American war” on 12 September 2001, simply because it could, and could think that anything else is possible. It, like Michael Moore has such an inflated scale that their hateful view of their own culture that they think the Taliban actually cared about US domestic politics when he said
They attacked the wrong people
Their ‘betters’ beat them to it. The idea that a world cares more about one’s opinions than actions in the real world says quite a bit. In individuals it's called Borderline Personality Disorder.

It's a Civil War!

You know, quagmire and all that. Time to pull out. Cut and run. Let the natives sort themselves out. Just plain admit that they are too primitive to be able to better themselves.

Il est cinq heures, Paris s'eveille.

VRT Radionieuws (Belgium) parked just inside the Place d'Italie.

An ongoing renovation project by the Place d'Italie. The surrounding barriers were destroyed
and most of the equipment and supplies were robbed by the demonstrators. They didn't make away with this mini-steamroller.

Pavement bricks for an ongoing renovation project by the Place d'Italie. The bricks that were left behind were spray painted with slogans. The others were thrown at riot police.

L'antisémitisme en Fwance -- un effet de boeuf beauf

The two McDonalds near the Place d'Italie were boarded up yesterday, Gulf of Mexico hurricane style, to provide some modest protection against the hoards of rampaging youths who have a tendency to blame the youth labor law on American imposed unbridled capitalism. Other businesses don't have to worry so much. Take Quick Burger. They're promoting their new Cauet Burger, named after a popular French radio and TV personality and professed anti-Semite (he compared Auchwitz to a vacation colony on his radio show back in the 90s). Nothing like a little anti-Semitism to boost sagging sales and keep the casseurs away.


The Era of Saddam Hussein, When the Iraqis Lived in Safety and Had Projects for the Future

Do the Iraqis miss the era of Saddam Hussein when they still lived in safety and could eat every day, do their studies, and had projects for the future?
writes a reader of Le Monde during the third anniversary of the Iraq war, highlighting the type of information present in France (notice that she has basically answered her own question). In the chat with Patrice Claude, Le Monde's Baghdad correspondent answers
Certain Iraqis … miss not the era, but the almost total security which was theirs in the era of Saddam Hussein. The country was held firmly, there was hardly ever any bombing or kidnappings
and then he adds, almost as an aside (emphasis mine),
and the people who disappeared were generally kidnapped by agents of the régime.
Only the agents of the régime? Oh, I see… Well, that indeed makes the Saddam Hussein era just peachy, with a life of safety for every citizen and projects for the future for all. (Needless to say, the absence of bombs in the Saddam era may be explained by the fact that if you have state agents who can carry out arrests and kidnappings in open daylight, legally and with total impunity, the need for hidden agents to stealthily carry out bombings in secret becomes moot.)

More of the same type of questions are present in the chat on the political-military state of Iraq with Pierre-Jean Luizard, such as this one suggesting treachery and a world of dark plotting:
How do you explain that the Americans have not managed to capture Zarqawi?
The CNRS researcher comes out with a certain amount of hot air (notably about the Mullahs, the Americans' charges against Tehran amounting to nothing more than a "diversion" and "an attempt in the United States to put the reponsibility of the failure of a process on Iran"), but he does have this to say about the war-for-oil charge:
Contrary to what many have said, oil was not the main reason behind the war of 2003,
if only because the embargo gave Washington an ideal situation as far as oil was concerned, one in which they had the effective if indirect control of the second-largest oil reserves in the world, a situation without
the political and military cost of an occupation.
In fact, Luizard adds, most American oil companies have not wanted to enter the minefield that Iraq currently is.

Wafa Sultan in Le Monde

Claudine Mulard has an article on Wafa Sultan.

What's inside a French student's mind?

Looks like somebody tried to find out. No great loss however. Even before getting it bashed in, he couldn't use his head.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song

Would you kindly answer the following question: was Bush wrong? (How about Cheney, and Condi, and Rummy, and Blair? How about France?)
Freedom in Afghanistan
Say good-bye Taliban
Free elections in Iraq
Saddam Hussein locked up
The Right Brothers take on Iraq and the issues (thanks to Sandy P)…

Another stellar display of effective political action

Suffering from fecal compaction of the circle of willis:

The benefits of kicking down the door to an electronics store in the interest of employment are rather obvious, don’t you think?

Somebody needs to check Thibault’s freezer for human heads:
"I hope these rallies will help us deal it the fatal blow," CGT union chief Bernard Thibault said of the CPE, which gives firms the right to lay off under-26s any time in a two-year period.
They will. But probably ultimately to the economy and civil order. The intention of the law is to make available jobs to both the very people who are rioting, and the rampant unemployment found among in immigrants and the French of foreign origin.

I’d really like to see the left’s economic plan, wouldn’t you? I haven’t had a laugh all day since I thought of the brand of “compassion” that the left promotes. All one can add to this is an homage to disco:

We get it on most every night
when that moon is big and bright
its a supernatural delight
everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

we get
everybody here is out of sight
they don’t bark and they don’t bite
they keep things loose they keep it tight
everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

Chavez: power to the person!

Budding poop-stain Hugo Chavez pulls a Mitterand, and gins up goofy reasons to nationalize private assets discovered and developed by evil capitalists which have been funding his folly. Amusingly Total’s ass-ripping doesn’t figure greatly on Al-Jazeera sur Seine.

In the mean time, true people power marches on, as the proletariat continue in their quest to own the means of production.

It’s a CRIME to have too much, cacherone!

Head of Sorbonne points, laughs.

From the Guardian:

The president of the world-renowned Sorbonne University has branded French students protesting about the country's new employment law "ignorant and stupid".


"I'm very angry about the demagogy, the ignorance and the stupidity of the young and of the French," said Dr. Pitte, 56, a geography professor who has taught at Oxford and Cambridge and holds the Légion d'honneur.


"Today's youth don't have dreams, they have illusions. To dream is to want to accomplish something difficult that is a challenge. Instead youngsters believe they have a right to everything and if things don't go the way they want it's someone else's fault."


Dr Pitte, whose comments were published in the respected weekly news magazine Le Point, blamed "irresponsible" public debate for stoking the violence.
"They say: Oh, these poor students! Of course they have a right to an open-ended work contract! It's absurd," he told Le Point. "Who is going to tell these youngsters the truth? Get real." He added that tens of thousands of students were taking degrees in subjects with no relevance to the employment market but were then demanding jobs linked to their studies.
Frankly, I wonder where students find the time for serious scholarship with all the sand-box revolutionary doings that these students are under. I think Tim Bleaah put it quite nicely:
Dr Pitte’s car insurance just quadrupled.
That notwithstanding, Pitte is a realist when it comes to education, and to the reasonableness that can be expected of a person:
« We give the impression of a country that doesn't understand the world. I'm ashamed of my country. »

French youth look to the future

Future burger flipper
Future bonne-femme flippée