Saturday, February 17, 2007
So goes the mantra of the EU that wants to “crack down” of Swiss tax rates. Sovereignty is irrelevant to them, even the unwilling.
This week, the European Commission identified the capital of the eponymous canton, and neighbouring Schwyz, as examples of “unfair” fiscal competition practised by Switzerland to the detriment of European Union members.Cut it out! You’re hurting their feelings! It seems the Swiss cramp the EU’s style by, like, existing and stuff.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
How often have we seen this before? It always has to do with a future projection.
EU: Our economy will outpace U.S. in '07
It forecast both the entire European Union and the euro currency area would grow at a brisk pace this year, upping its prediction for the euro10.9 trillion (US$14.3 trillion) EU economy to grow by 2.7 percent -- instead of 2.4 percent -- and raising its euro-zone forecast to 2.4 percent from 2.1.Whatever the hell than means. In any event, let’s make a note of this story, shall we? An independent forecaster is calling down US growth at 3.5% from 4.2%, and the White House is probably trying to mollify both optimistic and pessimistic prognosticator by calling it closer to 2.9%. All a far cry from another disappointing talk-up from Brussels.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
The EU executive said the United States will grow 2.5 percent.
"According to our assumptions, the United States will grow this year below the EU growth rate and slightly above the euro area growth rate," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told reporters.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
"Our mission is to organize all the information in the world" ; "Don't be evil". These are the two mission statements of Google Inc. studied by Barbara Cassin in this political essay. She demonstrates that this mission can be expressed through two concepts : "organize" and "do good". How can one not make the parallel with the final words of Bush's speeches, following 9-11, when he prays to God to wage a "just war", "the combat of good against evil". The extraordinary story of the creation of Google, and its development leading up to its spectacular IPO, the "best" search engine, by two Stanford students, allows Barbara Cassin to take a new look at the decisive question of democracy's cultural dimension. Google is the champion of cultural democracy, but without culture and without democracy. Because it is not a cultural leader (information is not knowledge), nor a political one (click-through democracy is not democratic).
Never mind the prison camps, the failed economics, the cult of personality, or the repressive nature of the entire society, Le Monde Diplomatique Director Ignacio Ramonet is gathering a “consencus” of French journalists to write an “authorized” retrospective of Castro’s paradise on earth.
"I am optimistic. I think the book is going to work in France, where there are honest journalists that have already started to work on the text. I am telling you, I have already 15 invitations to promote it in 15 cities of this country" [Cuba], he said.Get a room, already.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
Seriously, just give it to them. The Libs want to use an alien concoction to mandate an impoverishing state of Kyoto compliance on the population and the Conservatives in 60 days that they wouldn’t even have been capable, stupid, or audacious enough to attempt in all of their years in power? Fine! Propose something really effective. Something that they really want that will meet Kyoto, Then let them face the real consequences of it – not just their decade of wheedling, evasive PR, and lame guilt trip.
Put in for a first reading a law banning all mechanized transportation.
No more self-investigative trips to Nepal. No more trips back home to lash out at Mom and Dad now that you're hitting 40. No more pedantic conferences, interfaith 12 stepping, and above all no more industry or human productivity!
Kyoto targets? Achieved prestissimo and sofort.
Let the grey-haired aging children too old to care about the future figure out how Canadians will live with the persistent and hypocritical luddism of the left. After all, it’s the perfect day for it. February 14th is the day where women can blackmail expensive trash out of men without actually having to face them with the terms of surrender simply out of opportunistic zeal – just because (for the same reason the left demands and marches and trashes civilization’s achievements) because they can, and it feels good to them.
Oh and by the by, keep the grown-ups in charge to deal with the real risks - the ones that weren’t invented by feelies who need easily digestible issues to give their empty lives meaning.
The most completely implausible rationalization of European Anti-Americanism that I’ve heard all year. It comes from serial "triangulator-but-I-don't-know why" Pascal Bonface interviewed in a propaganda rag that doesn't even bother running news - they depend entirely on wire stories, and pepper them with outbursts of tree-worshipping polemical tract that appear to predate the age of reason.
HUMA[nité]: Faced with American domination, how can France and Europe favour multilateralism and the research of diplomatic solutions to conflicts?In other words; “have you stopped beating your wife, and if you didn’t, didn’t she deserve it anyway?”
BONIFACE: First of all, the “anti-American” debate has to be brought to an end. As soon as George W Bush’s foreign policy is opposed, accusations of anti-Americanism pop up here and there. Incidentally, the phenomenon is similar to the anti-Semite accusations made as soon as the Israeli government is criticised. These shortcuts can be accounted for by the intellectual laziness which consists of demonising those who do not agree with such and such a policy. The problem with America is not American society, which in many ways could be a source of inspiration for France (representation of minorities/diversity, integration), but the USA’s foreign policy. This is illustrated by the war in Iraq. It is essential that France, and the other European countries constitute a counterbalance to curb the most harmful tendencies of American foreign policy.
French anti-Americanism is as older than Boniface, older than me, and older than George Bush. The continuation of his argument also assumes that European demonisation is the only type that can be labeled criticism. Like the Iranian “limits of free speech” argument to “question” the holocaust, add to L’Humanité’s groaner the use of the counterpoint offered by neo-Nazis when you show them a picture of the gas chambers, and you have a real winner on your hands: the kind of European who think their criticism should never be permitted to suffer from having to face retorts.
In 2003, Chirac, Shroeder, and Putin wanted above all else to maintain the “balance of power” that provided them with an economic franchise, and provided the rest of us with the repression and decay in Arab and Iranian culture which bubbles over into every part of the world. Thinking that “balance” precious is more than just laziness, it’s a policy blunder, and at it’s core entirely absent the promoted euro-morality which imagines itself upholding human rights, even yesterday’s newly invented ones – all of that done in favor of selling their laundry detergent and automobiles.
To understand just how ignorant this “expert” is, you have to imagine that this is a new and recent phenomenon which should get any “thinking” person stoked about transnational warm-fuzzies:
We are now living in a world where what happens outside of our country has direct repercussions on our daily lives. On both economic and strategic fronts, globalisation has ruled out the notion of boundaries.In other words, something that has been true since the invention of the boat is suddenly a threat. What would the world do without this man’s wisdom.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
It must be due to hideous American lording over of people, if not in fact but in spirit... somehow...
Russian military prosecutors pledged Monday to investigate allegations that young conscripts were forced into prostitution by fellow soldiers – the latest claim of rampant abuse in the nation's armed forces.How very professional. That deserves a big ol’ Army Hoowah!, eh Vlad? Ignored likewise by a press that won‘t question the tzar-like power some will confer to themselves, as long as a democracy like the US where there are presidential term-limits, and the very concept of anti-imperialism was founded – lo’ that they would provide is with this sort of spew: “Putin reclaims Russian clout”
Squeal like a pig, Private. You realize that there are anti-military, anti-establishment types who will pay big money for someone to serve them up the fantasy that you get to live in the first person. They come up with headlines like this: “Russia Military Allegations to Be Probed.” Probed. That’s hilarious, up until the moment that you imagine that it’s far more degrading than the dozen or so real criminals abused by American soldiers at Abu Greib, and that no Spaniard, German, Dutch would ever march for an abused and violated Russian enlistedman.
Froemr editor of Die Zeit, Josef Joffe writes in The American Interest magazine:
"It is impossible to make a Norwegian say that Americans are intelligent", notes a Norwegian author of a book on anti-Americanism. Asked whether it didn't mean "anything that 70 percent of the Nobel Prize winners in history have been Americans", he responds: "No, it does not help. Even if all Americans were professors, we would call them stupid." Why? "Because by speaking negatively about them, we elevate ourselves. It confirms that we are the opposite. We Europeans have refinement, culture, and intellectual life. To think this way raises our image of ourselves."More poignant still is its’ vintage fron Vienna in 1999:
The litany continues. America gorges itself on fatty fast food, wallows in tawdry mass entertainment, starves the arts and prays only to one God: Mammon. Instead of subsidizing what is serious and high-minded, as do the Europeans, the United States ruthlessly sacrifices the best of culture to pap and pop—never mind the Metropolitan Opera, MoMA and the world's leading research universities. Although these schools are much admired, the compliment is routinely followed by, "But they are for the rich and well-connected, only." Like all such anti-Americanisms, the myth is promulgated in blissful (or willful) ignorance of the fact that Harvard, Stanford and the like subsidize 60 percent of their students with loans and grants, while Ph.D. students normally have both tuition and living expenses paid for by the university. Even though this complaint is routine lore in Germany, German data show that despite open admission and no tuition aid, 85 percent of all German students are middle-class and higher.
The posters grew increasingly threatening: 'USA = Nazi', . . . '1939 = Hitler, 1999 = Bill Clinton; Jews = Then, Serbia = Now'. . . . Replicas of the United States Flag were all over the rally, many with a swastika covering the blue and white corner. . . . It was clear this was more than a political statement; it was a war against our country's mentality.And some wonder why Americans ignore and even sometimes detest European views: Sarajevo is closer to Paris than New York is to Saint Louis, and European let a genocide continue for almost a decade waiting for people to cross an ocean to end it, and yet they’ll stand there and call anyone else the epithet that Europe made famous as the cost of 52 million dead. They call Americans “Nazis”, and conceal their view from their own obsessive delusions which give them license to blame others.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
From “tomorrow’s” eternally post-dated Le Monde:
The intellectual Alain Finkielkraut said Tuesday that he is “dismayed by the current state of the left”. “The socialist Party is in a coma.” “The left chose the way of Mitterrand.”[...]
“There are other possibilities which are offered to the voters” for the presidential one, he declares. “There are perhaps candidates who are more suited than the left to take into account the problems and deal with the disaster”, he said.He spoke also of consistency and of wishing to see TV enviro-vangelist Nicolas Hulot as their candidate.
“If I speak out in the countryside, it won’t take the form of a rallying. It will be by an analysis of the problems” because “we’re living a kind of disaster”, he explains it. “I think that the schools are in a disastrous state, I think that civic morals is in a disastrous state, I think that the rise of incivilities took absolutely terrible proportions”, he detailed. He concluded “Ecology requires we that we change.”I’m a lot more worried about people trying to “live off the land” in an inefficient, starvation inducing, pre-scientific fashion than that, but so be it. Though his frame of reference is not that different than those he sees flaws with, Finkelkraut is part of the way there, and at least moving in direction of returning to the classical rationalism that in the past sought a morally sound and serious view of human affairs that made real efforts to alleviate burdens and difficulties – not just calling out for one outrageous measure after another to display a desire for life, somehow, to be ”perfect” though Socialist meddling in people's lives.
Israeli lefties looking for someone to in indulge their good intentions, had to go to Washington to find a Syrian reasonable enough to talk to, in spite of decades of Syrian window dressing about wanting to make peace while they willingly set up terror organizations pointed at Israel such as Hizballah and the Pali hijackers, but only managed to get scores of Arabs killed, especially if they imagine that anyone can get beyond the narrative of hate and death.
Don’t waste your time.
Meanwhile the usual tossers blame America for the dashing of their moment of charitable feeling of peace and lurrrrve that they’re willing to withdraw at a moment’s notice.The Fuse is Lit (No Pasaran!)
Monday, February 12, 2007
A sickly view of the power of law: make criminal whatever fashionable nonsense will seem nice.
But what is to stop zealous Brussels officials fulfilling the Napoleonic tendencies often ascribed to them by eurosceptics and laying down the law to member states?Sophisticated, sophisticated, sophisticated, but the clothes don’t always make the man when they’re so simplistic about structuring law as to replace the prosecutorial powers of “lower” bodies as if the pecking order were more important than checks and balances or the propriety of who enforces what. What is left of democracy when people receive law from on-high and not permitting the “devolved” state of populations deciding law closer to home?
The first limit was applied by the European court, which said the EU could only use criminal law to achieve its objectives when it could show that "effective, proportionate and dissuasive" penalties were essential to combating serious environmental offences.
Look out shortly for a turf war compelling states to dispose of a millennium of common law or centuries of Civil Code.
In many cases where the EU makes law, member states may already apply criminal sanctions across the board. However, in cases - like environmental crime - where some countries only apply civil penalties, the Commission may be tempted to act to bring consistency.Ooh, that sound so... how shall we say... “efficient.”