Saturday, April 28, 2007

An Odd Outpost in Search of Some Meaning

Puzzled?

Lately Americans have had to recognize the power of Europe - often for its bite. It was Old Europe that sniped about the war in Iraq, while regulators in Brussels have derailed U.S. mega-mergers and taken on Microsoft.
Even if you can call any of their reconstructed protectionism “real”, there is a simple explanation for the temporary lack of malaise they’re experiencing in the greyer parts of “old Europe.” It isn’t their money, technology, or effort that’s driving that particular train:
The recent earnings boom of European companies has to an extent been "made in America." Texas last year ranked as the top state for European investment; the $55.3 billion that European companies invested in the state exceeded combined U.S. investment in Japan and China. The top investor? France.
The operative word here is slow when it comes to dealing with the objects of their fears, in this case, the unemployed.
A multitude of business issues are also slow in being resolved. For example, it took four years to clinch a new aviation treaty, global warming is dividing the United States and the EU, and European regulators often act unilaterally in setting standards that have global influence.
Other matters, though are taken care of tous de suite when the all-important slowness to address your fears is concerned:
Brussels officials have confirmed the existence of a classified handbook which offers "non-offensive" phrases to use when announcing anti-terrorist operations or dealing with terrorist attacks.

Banned terms are said to include "jihad", "Islamic" or "fundamentalist".

The word "jihad" is to be avoided altogether, according to some sources, because for Muslims the word can mean a personal struggle to live a moral life.

One alternative, suggested publicly last year, is for the term "Islamic terrorism" to be replaced by "terrorists who abusively invoke Islam".
As true as the story’s title is, those wanting the “European street” to ignore transnational terror in “abusively invoke Islam” by trying to put beyond discussion the terrorism itself.

Good luck with all that, and make sure you convince yourself to avoid all other aspects of modernity at all costs otherwise:
A stream of doctors, complementary practitioners and Chinese herbalists all failed to alleviate any of her symptoms or come up with a diagnosis.
Instead, she found an answer on Google - through websites such as electrosensitivity.org.uk.
All her symptoms seemed to match those of people who believe they are allergic to modern life.

Not seen in the French PreSS

Semper Fi.

Who's helping Africa?

Not Europeans.

Strategic yogurt production

Good news for French foodheads: Ségolène Royal has assigned a special mission to José Bové©®. She has requested that he study "Globalisation and Alimentary Sovereignty".

peut-être Bayrou s'en fout après tout, il a une super marque "PD" maintenant !

Marca Registrada baby!

Marianne asks: Are the French going to vote for what Americans no longer want?

The French Left resorts to the usual rank anti-Americanism in an effort to knock down Sarkozy.



The cover promises to reveal "What is Bush about Sarkozy..."

If I were French I'd hate myself too

But I'm not.

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Je ne suis pas un homme de demi-mesures, j'ai des passions, je poursuivrai … ces passions, convaincu que, dans la vie, on a plusieurs vies"

The man whom Bernadette Chirac calls Nero, on whom her husband became "Villepin-dependant", and who tried to do to Nicolas Sarkozy what Jacques Chirac did to Edouard Balladur is given near-heroic treatment by Christophe Jakubyszyn in the prime minister's final weeks at Matignon.

Sputtering with Indignation, Western Europeans Stand Up for Human Rights in Poland (after fiddling about for 50 years)

Poland never received as much opprobrium when it was a communist dictatorship and part of the Warsaw Pact. Nor was any Soviet-era dissident ever lauded as much or given as much space (front page, no less) as Bronislaw Geremek is now as he speaks out against the country's decommunization process. (But then, at the time, Poland was neither capitalist nor pro-American, the mothers of all sins.) From Le Monde editorials to French lawmakers decrying the country's Stalinist or Fascist methods, just about everybody knows what is democratic and what is proof of tolerance and what is best for Poland.

Update: Because of a reader's remarks putting the above facts into doubt, I am adding the following excerpts from previous posts: Update 1: Europeans (and France) were largely silent as recently as one week ago when Geremek (along with a dozen others, most of them former leaders in Europe) issued a declaration in favor of Ukrainian democracy.

Update 2: A Polish émigré weighs in:
…it does not strike you as odd that the people who rush to the side of "justice" were once very happy to forsake justice because we were not proving their social theories correct. It bothers you not at all that the people defending Geremek did not defend him twenty years ago. It bothers me very much, because seventy years ago, these same people "defended" us. I do not want this defense again.

Let me offer some quotes that to me are very telling:
"His moral authority, his commitment to Europe, his fight for freedom have made (Geremek) a figure symbolic of Europe and its values," Douste-Blazy said.
M. Douste-Blazy, Geremek's moral authority was established decades ago. You chose to ignore it until it served your purposes to attempt to harm Poland. I am not impressed.
French presidential candidate Segolene Royal urged Poland in the affair "to conform to the European Union's democratic values," which she described as "not negotiable."
Au contraire, Mdm. Royal, these values have always been very negotiable. When the Germans and Russians signed an agreement to bypass Poland with a gas pipepline through the Baltic, where were our French "friends?" Is M. Putin conforming to the EU's "democratic values?" When Poland was fighting to keep an agreement regarding representation in the EU from being arbitrarily changed by France and Germany, where were your "democratic values?" They are as ephemeral as the French "offensive" in 1939.

…If Poland is to survive in the EU in anything but a subservient role to the French-German axis (or should I say the Vichy-Nazi Axis), it cannot allow hostile neighbors to intervene in its attempts to shed the political turpitude which is a direct consequence of the cowardice those neighbors showed (and in the case of the Germans, far worse) when we could have most used courage.

…the attitudes of individuals must have made an impact on subsequent positions after the Cold War. I suggest that based on the feelings of those people with whom I spoke at that time, who would be contemporaries with those who now denounce Poland, this is not a new sentiment. It was disdain before, and it is disdain now. The rhetoric has adjusted to support current interests. Its hostility to Poland itself is unchanged.

La docilité requise : "Il fallait penser communiste, dormir communiste, parler communiste"

Stéphane has a book review of the autobiography of Hour Chea, a believer who spent four years with the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and several years with the …leftists in France.

Fofana fans

French youths in Marseilles provoked by Jewish woman.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sale PD

Que ce foutu pays de merde aille droit dans le mur !

Guy Millière elaborates on the disaster that would follow Ségolène Royal's election if she were to win 10 days from now. French version here, English translation here.

Call them the Solana Battalion

So long as there is an audience to be pandered to, in the interest of posing an air of open-ness and debate, the EU mandates that all mouths shall speak out of both sides:

In an effort to cut the numbers of illegal migrants arriving to Europe by sea, EU interior ministers have given the green light to setting up a rapidly deployable force of border guards which would assist countries facing an immigration emergency.
Is it different when they aren’t Mexican or Palestinian?

Those Dashing Men and Women Making Laws in Europe's Parliament

A reader writes because he would "like to bring to [our] attention the latest attempt by the EU Marxist Thought Police to regulate blogs and the Internet": Providers are called on to do more against "hate pages" on the Web. John O'Connor adds:
Note that two of the instigators are UK MEPS. I'd never even heard of Glyn Ford but [this member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) in the European Parliament (!)] turns out to be an unreconstituted Hard Left relic: determinedly anti-American and totally besotted with the Worker's Paradise that is North Korea. His paeans of praise to that progressive wonderland are uncannily reminiscent of the emanations from Radio Tirana a couple of decades ago.

America, he says, is 'almost as bad' as NK when it comes to human rights abuses. And the only reason NK has any shortcomings at all is because of unwarranted interference and threats from the US Imperialists.

Ford comes across like the Lord Longford of Anti-Racism: hence his fervent mission to purge the ether of the mildest criticism of Islam (that well-known racial grouping.) The Danish cartoons are, he maintains, 'racist', and Islamophobia is not to be tolerated. He is also alert for anti-Semitism, but predictably condemns Israel for its 'aggressiveness.'

A professed champion of both Muslims and Jews, he attempts to reconcile the two by blaming the desecration of Jewish cemeteries in France... on the ubiquitous Far Right! This is a boy who's never peeked inside a copy of the Koran in his life. And if he ever did, he'd claim it was something faked up by the CIA in some Black Ops lab.

…here's his page on North Korea, complete with approving photo of NK propaganda poster…

Please turn your searching gaze on Mr Ford — and his fellow censorshits — and share your findings on No-Pasaran. Such people must not be allowed to impose their narrow ignorance and prejudices on the rest of us without a fight!
Ladies and gentlemen, never must you forget that America's two-party electoral system is totally anti-democratic. Europe's way of electing its officials is far more democratic and far more reasonable. Take a page from the EU and learn from it!…

Demonstrating “Against Violence”



With RPGs, of course.

Trained to mouth the words - Reuters:
Palestinians attend a demonstration against violence in Gaza April 23, 2007.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Did anybody register sclérotique.gouv.fr?

Why is it easier to create a Delaware Corporation than it is to register a dot-fr domain name? Anybody?

Another Great Bové-an Success



I’m lovin’ it.

Still Shaking Their Tiny Fists in the Air

Gramscian lie-ing redefined as “heroism””:

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the German Green MEP and hero of Paris's student protests in May 1968, said a leftwing campaign would be "hopeless" for Ms Royal. He held crucial talks in the early hours of yesterday morning at the Socialist party headquarters to convince Ms Royal, whose campaign has been a mixture of leftwing economic policy and conservative social values, to move away from the traditional left. He told the Guardian: "If she tries to play it on the traditionally socialist card, she will lose, because France has veered right."
This is as close as they ever get to admitting that decades of Socialist ideas have been a failure – which is to say that people still aren’t “ready” for it and a are unwilling to be as “brave” as this warm, caring “man of the people” who’s just trying to defend free speech or something:
A man accused of threatening a Nevada Republican Party official with a rifle was arrested Tuesday in a vehicle in which police found swords, knives, a shotgun, shells and a flare gun, authorities said.

Zachary Moyle, executive director of the state GOP, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Kramer invited him to look at something in the trunk of his Mercedes before pulling out a rifle, pointing it at his face and warning that he would be back if President Bush vetoed an emergency war spending bill being considered by Congress.

Agitateur d'idées ?

Non. Patron voyou. La FNAC supprime 300 emplois.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Spanish Artist Who Would Not Go to America

I was having una conversación with a Catalan artist during a weekend in Barcelona, when he told me he would never go to los Estados Unidos. My eyes must have rolled around while I let out a sigh…
"¿Porqué non?" I asked, not really interested and not really curious (i.e., too blasé) about what kind of inanity I would hear this time around.

In complete seriousness, he gave me his reply:
Because zee police weell shoot you!
Apparently, a number of Europeans think that not one of America's 300 million citizens is without a (at least one?!) gunshot wound…

Mike Lester's Killed Cartoon

The cartoon Mike Lester's editors refused to publish…

Le monde multipolaire se développe sans nous demander notre avis et sans correspondre à nos schémas

While Tony Blair says he has absolutely no plans of ever becoming president of the European Commission, Hubert Védrine tells Daniel Vernet that
Le fil conducteur de politique étrangère de la Ve République depuis que de Gaulle l'a reformulée vers 1966-1967, avec les inflexions liées à la personnalité de chaque président de la République et, dans quelques cas, à la personnalité des ministres, c'est l'idée d'une autonomie de décision. L'idée que la France a sa propre politique étrangère. C'est là-dessus qu'il y a consensus. Ce n'est pas évident pour les Américains et pour certains de nos partenaires. Cela suppose une autonomie de pensée.

… Depuis que nous sommes sortis de la guerre froide, il a fallu repenser la politique étrangère française. La France estime avoir le droit, dans certains cas, de contrer la politique américaine. D'avancer ses propres propositions sur l'avenir de l'Europe, sur l'organisation du monde, etc. Même si, sur chaque point d'application concret, sur les rapports entre réalisme, démocratie, et droits de l'homme, il y a des différences, voire des clivages, à l'intérieur de la gauche comme de la droite.
Sounding profoundly principled, Védrine states that he is thinks that France's anti-American consensus is "threatened" and that he is "opposed" to certain tendencies on the right ("and even sometimes on the left", how horrid) to go "in the other direction." The man who invented the term "hyperpower" while foreign minister (meaning that for whatever situation is being discussed, Uncle Sam is automatically in the wrong) evokes "the most insidious threat" as well as an "ingenious and dangerous vision", for which he has invented a term, Irrealpolitik.

Védrine goes on to say that
Dans le discours français, il est implicite que, parmi les pôles, il y a une Europe forte et, au sein de cette Europe forte, une France très influente. Or le monde multipolaire se développe sans nous demander notre avis et sans correspondre à nos schémas !

Le décret en préparation exprime le fantasme « Big Brother »

Pointing out that "even George W Bush's America and its post-September 11 Patriot Act have never contemplated such rules" (now that, in France, shows how bad it is!), Philippe Jannet asks whether the French state is trying to kill the Internet in France and charges that a Big Brother bill is underway that would allow the authorities to stock all kinds of personal information, from pseudonyms and passwords to payment details and credit card numbers…

The Way of the Quero

The creation of Europeana is "for France and Europe an important challenge and a great ambition to the service of spreading knowledge, cultural diversity, keeping the value of languages and the information that is the base of our shared identity,"
They still don’t get it. All leaving it to a government could do is to create a monoculture.
US Internet search giant Google triggered an international race to build an online library when it announced plans in December 2004 to digitise books and documents from a handful of big libraries.

US Internet and software giants Yahoo, Microsoft and Amazon soon announced separate plans while France, angry that private companies took the lead, instead pushed for the creation of a public digital library.
Lame attempts to nationalize the people all culture continue. The fact that private interests in Europe aren’t doing anything like this is a sign of the diminishing interest that comes with the suffocating effect of government trying to personify, if not entirely dominate the life, history, and management of all life.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Do they have a spiffy bar?

A Bloody Mary, please.

Anti-Hedge Fund Sarkozy Advances Toward French Presidency

That's the headline of the day. I like it. I'm pro-hedge fund, personally. Put me in the exotic beta category.

Regional breakdown

The first polls done after last night's announced result give Sarkozy 52%-54% to Royal's 46-48%.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Pouting. Bewildered. Standing Akimbo.


Greenies lose big on “Earth Day.”


Extra: One hour after Le Monde called it 29,8% for Sarko versus 25,6% for Ségo, TF2 calls it 30,4% for Sarko to Ségo’s 25,0%. It’s also worth noting that 26,1% of the vote, nearly as many as the leading candidate, went to freaky, hopeless fantasy candidates.

It's Sarko vs. Ségo

The official results are in.

Election Watch

Turnout for the first round of the French Presidential election is announced at 73.8% at 5PM compared to 58.5% at 5PM for the 2002 election.

Election Watch

Nidra Poller reports on the day's events.

That makes one vote less for someone

Sudden death. Je savais qu'on faisait voter les morts en Fwance, mais tout de même ...

The Greens of Wrath

What is Earth Day really all about? Virtually nothing but greed and fantasy determinism. While some miss the entire point of the strife of the 20th century to respect the autonomy of the individual, they try to recreate “creating the new man” arguments, others are just playing at your emotions to pick your pocket. Appealing to good-old fashion group hatred, a company selling shoes used this layout in a recent fake “magazine” mailer curiously named “The Stool Pigeon.”


Their faithful customers will be forgiven for not knowing that this company which presumes to be all about environmentalism, proximity of production, and all of the fetishes now though of as some sort of virtue, their SEC filing tells another story about this peddler of expensive shoes pretending to be “all Santa Barbara” (California), mailing out of Arizona, and trying to seem Hawaii surfin’ cool:
Simple.

Simple is our moderately priced “anti-brand,” serving the needs of a youthful, irreverent consumer base seeking the comfort of athletic footwear but the styling of more traditional, understated, _back-to-basics_ footwear. Simple was launched in the early 1990’s and has been recently revised to focus on its successful legacy categories, including sandals, clogs and casual athletic footwear. Simple enables us to leverage our core footwear design and production competencies in channels of distribution not served by Teva or UGG.

Our independent manufacturers are located outside the U.S., where we are subject to the risks of international commerce.

All of our third party manufacturers are in the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, with the vast majority of production performed by four manufacturers in China.
In other words they are a subsidiary of one of those vaunted “corporations!” engaging in “globalization!” which will give $5 with every pair sold to yet another outfit of self-proclaimed do-gooders called StopGlobalWarming.org for purposes they refuse to state.

Earth Day is an “anti-brand” for a lot of things, virtually all of them discredited, including planned societies and economies where industry, consumption, and daily common behavior is regulated,

It is an “anti-brand” for the vehicle with which people can hate the success of others and displace their own individual failures, inabilities to realize personal success using science and reason,

It is an “anti-brand” for discredited notions of radicalism which lost all hope of being accepted as anything other than a violent ideology imposed on an unwilling majority by an adolescent minority who are acting out emotions of envy and hatred on others, using as a pretense their efforts at your “salvation”. Heaven knows, you’ve been naughty, and as long as you can be placed in a subservient position, someone who is otherwise a personal failure by any normal metrics will chide you.

Somehow, Mr. and Ms. Inhabitant of earth, you aren’t just their enemy, but you MUST do what they tell you, and you MUST support them at the same time. If you aren’t already suspicious, you should be.

Election Watch

Turnout for the first round of the French Presidential election is announced at 31.2% at noon compared to 21.4% at noon for the 2002 election.

Why do they get to vote at all?

As we’ve learned before, where prisoners can vote, they vote for the left for one simple reason: it’s in their interest and they get to join the cult of victimhood, each with a special place in the hierarchy of guilttripping and pity-sseking, which, they say, will somehow make us all more equal.

The presidential election from behind bars

At Nanterre prison, most of the prisoners are very young and come from the cities [suburban high-rise ghettos], display a kind of disillusionment and depoliticization. Out of 850, 22 will vote by proxy.
After all, why not add voters who are more likely to advocate negative measures on society? It’s not like civilization has a future or anything!

Typical Palestinian family gathering