Saturday, August 11, 2007

EUtopia: Slouching Towards a Gloriously Undemocratic Future

Threatening vicariously:
The Brussels mayor, the Socialist Freddy Thielemans, has, on 9th of August 2007 sent out a press release in which he has banned a demonstration with a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of 9/11 on the 11th sept in Brussels. The reason for the prohibition is that he says he cannot guarantee public safety and that he won’t disturb the Islamic section of the population in Brussels.
Sign the petition here.

If This is Tuesday, It Must be Belgium

Socialist Mayor of Brussels bans 9-11 moment of silence on Tuesday, September 11 2007.

How did this ever slip through the cracks of political correctness?

Someone was asleep at the switch.

The surge must be working

Why else would the purple helmets of peace make their way back to Bagdad?

Friday, August 10, 2007

This Week on “This Old Box”

Les Caniches de Chavez Le Monde Diplomatique isworked up about « Liberalisme » that barely exists at all in the public discourse in France:

His first act, the “tax shield” offers special protection to very large fortunes from get hit [by taxes], however measured of the tax department. The cost to the Treasury of the delicacies which the right-wing parliamentary majority has just offered to future heirs: approximately 13 billion euros. As has just been pointed out it the daily newspaper Les Echoes, it is almost exactly the same sum that François Mitterrand spent in his 1981-1982 economic renewal plan. The left devoted a good part of this money to the creation of 240 000 public jobs.

At the time the pitch, according to them, was that this would inconsiderately add to the burden of the national debt.
The writer says that, of course, as if 240 000 more piglets suckling at the public teat for the next 35 years is a good thing. Absent is the realization that any cent that passes through the digestive tract of government comes out very slowly and half the size. By that measure, Mitterand was acting with the same sophistication of crack smoking Washington DC mayor Marion Barry who made people fully aware that expanding government and handing out jobs can be made to look like an economic band-aid on a sucking flesh wound, but was actually nothing more than a way of buying votes.
If the government of Mr. Sarkozy is quite as generous (or as much of a spendthrift), it’s not towards the same recipients. What it loses in revenues from taxes, it saves it in use of civil servants: 22 700 jobs will be eliminated next year. As for the debt, whereas last October the government of Mr. Dominique de Villepin, for whom Mr. Sarkozy was a minister of State had committed to European authorities to bringing France’s public debt into balance by 2010. Mr. Francois Fillon is pleading now for an additional 2 year grace period.
Good heavens! They might even exist, and they might even have an agenda! How dare they trim away part of the “to hell with the future” left’s fifth column in any way!

And they actually think that that’s economic Liberalism. They, and this really is shared by the mainstream left, genuinely believe that taxing the rich more will make them not leave the country, and that the progressive nationalization of the greatest number of jobs will improve the economy. They seem to have missed what 6 decades of commie-nomics did to ravage Eastern Europe and are completely and utterly hopeless.

Because it involves a stupefiante, they might understand this oft-emailed old saw:
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

1. The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
2. The fifth would pay $1.
3. The sixth would pay $3.
4. The seventh would pay $7.
5. The eighth would pay $12.
6. The ninth would pay $18.
7. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, thats what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until on day, the owner threw them a curve. Since you are all such good customers, he said, Im going to reduce the cost of your
daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33, but if they subtracted that from everybodys share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each mans bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:
1. The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
2. The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
3. The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
4. The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
5. The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
6. The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before and the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. I only got a dollar out of the $20, declared the
sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, but he got $10! Yeah, that’s right, exclaimed the fifth man. I only saved a dollar, too. Its unfair that he got TEN times more than I! Thats true!! shouted the seventh man.
Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!

Wait a minute, yelled the first four men in unison. We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor! The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him.

But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn”t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

That, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being
wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.

For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.
And that is precisely the sort of journalist we’re talking about.

You would think even faded impressions from the 1970’s of their own preoccupation with rebellion would ward off trends toward collectivization, central authority, and a remaking of the economy in the image of mid-century Army life would leave their mark. They haven’t. I don’t think that the people who entertain notions of a huge civil service as a form of idealized worker society are even intelligent enough to question it because they carry on as if the last century and its’ horrible treatment of the individual never happened – and yet they never seem to make the connection between this statist fetish of the left and the totalitarianism it inevitably brings down on people.

It’s as if finding them a few basic needs can make them fall for anything. Good God, it’s sad how cheaply their will can be bought for.

Veolia et ses patrons voyous

I question the timing.

Cognitive Dissidence

For Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine, US Marines are guilty until..., well, just plain guilty. In its coverage of the Haditha case, France's newspaper of record stresses the fact that prosecutors do not share the defense's views on the case. Duh! Looks like French journalists prefer kangaroo courts. L'Immonde then goes on to detail Time Magazine's past (anti-US military) coverage of the case based on the video made by an Iraqi journalmalism student.

Lucidity TV

Yesterday on one of the ubiquitous “debats” talk shows that are barely worthy of Jerry Springer, we find the usual fixation with the U.S.

Titled « Deadly crossing, » the show started off by mentioning hurricane Katrina in the same breathe as a « discussion » of the Minnesota bridge collapse. Not only did they seem to take incredible delight in the whole thing, one can’t imagine them even mentioning anyone else’s bad news along with the sadness it’s brought to individuals, let alone their own.

The only purpose there was for them to cover this subject at all is because of the popularity and joy so many in mainstream France take in detesting America. Nothing more.

Behold the baseline: France 2 in 2007 rehashing mendacious abuse of George Bush during 9-11 after 6 years. No new news, no nothing – just abuse.
[Program] Summary: On September 11, 2001, while terrorists hijacked airliners to take down the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, George W. Bush attended the class of a primary school of Sarasota, Florida. The images of the American President learning the news from one of his advisors and remaining inexplicably passive with a stupefied air, drew the notice of the world. But what really happened that day? Did Bush deliberately choose not to react “live”? How did he manage the crisis after that? The team of “One day/one destiny” asks witnesses closest to the President, key facts, and reconstituted the event.

OPINION: It’s a detailed log exemplary in its rigor and in the precision of its revelations but which, curiously, remains a little vain. With the image of a Bush obviously overwhelmed by the task...
Nothing but hatred. What makes it even sadder is the way they talk up their own sophistication and insightfulness, as if they're above any sort of emotionalism they'd leap to paint someone a "warmonger" with.

Weekend Stroll in Ohio

Globalize yourself, cha-cha: Europeans trying to be as dyspeptic as possible in the U.S., subtitled in Japanese. They must have been visionaries. After all, how else could a European get too tired to get overraught.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

France isolation watch

German-French EU motor kaput.

Too much stealth and too little democracy

The EU is a kind of USSR lite.

Don't sweat the small stuff, sweetheart

BNP Paribas gets burned by the US subprime market and French journalists howl like stuck pigs. What!?! A French national champion has been sucker punched?!? Must be an American plot. As happened immediately after the Enron scandal, we'll be seeing French editorials of the furrowed brow sort about how American-led capitalism has gone awry and that something must be done to change all this. Expect to see those editorials within the next 48 hours. Nothing gets worthless Europeans off of their lazy duffs like a bit of self righteous America bashing.

Minyanville on containment:
"The U.K? Germany? And now Pepe Le Pew is holding his nose too? So much for containment." on BNP's "Freedom Funds":
To make matters worse, the funds have ridiculous French names like Parvest Dynamic ABS, BNP Paribas ABS Euribor and BNP Paribas ABS Eonia. We're thinking of just calling them "Freedom Funds."

It's good to see that respect for the French is at just around zero chez the Big Money Boyz.

UPDATE: That didn't take long. Le Monde Al-Jazeera on the Seine has an analysis up on how this American-led globalisation thing has gone all wobbly, what with these bouts of financial speculation and other unseemly activities that tend to scare God Secular-government-fearing Zeropeans half to death. It's the usual puff piece with some references to the Tulip bubble and the crash of 1929 thrown in just to let you know that this is France's newspaper of reference so you had better take it seriously.

French contributions to popular culture

That's one way to write a bestselling blockbuster.

He didn't make a killing during the Presidential election, so now it's come to this

José Bové©® and his minions have hounded to death a French farmer who committed suicide when he learned that José and his civil disobedience road show would soon make a swing by his farm and rip some genetically modified corn out of the ground. Between the impending "Have a nice day" vandalism of his hard labor by José's crew and the inevitable non-response of the authorities, he decided to snuff himself.

Appointing the Fox to the Henhouse

French president Nicolas Sarkozy recently appointed pinko Jacques Attali to a special economic advisory commission. The problem of his predilections is inherent problem number one. Number two is that he’s already done a number on the economy under Mitterand, and is an unreconstructed fantasy-communist skeptic of even the concept or growth. The free market advocacy group Liberté Chérie lays the problem out:

Whereas Philippe Séguin was first nominated to chair a commission on growth, it’s finally been entrusted to Jacques Attali. A quick look as the past gives us fear of what this commission will come up with:

- Jacques Attali advised Mitterrand in 1981 on economic questions, which has unanimously been recognized as a disaster.

- Jacques Attali’s economic projections have always proved wrong. In 1990 he wrote that “to pass the economic reforms before political reforms, China will experience slower development. One can even expect to see a long period of crisis and recession”. Reality bore out quite differently: in the 1990s the Chinese economic growth record was unbeatable reaching 9% to 11% annually. This is only one example of many.

- Jacques Attali was always skeptical of the virtues of the economic growth itself. In a work republished in 1990, he put forward that “economic growth of rich countries creates the conditions of increasing dependence in poor countries”.

- His short term as the head of the European Bank for the Reconstruction and Development (BERD) was a catastrophe: remembered only for especially extravagant expenditures and innumerable wastes of money which forced him to resign.

If Jacques Attali is put to the task of removing barriers to economic growth, it is only because his own ideas are major barriers to economic growth. Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Fillon are making a serious mistake.
And therein lies the problem: it’s cultural. The desire to impress, surprise, and try to make oneself look particularly bright by inverting the obvious is just a sort of attention-seeking pathology held by people who think anyone can be impressed, surprised, and made to seem bright this way.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Just Called to Say They Hate You - Teil Vier

Running over the same old stale symbolism, even if it’s decades old:
Nixon, Kissinger, and Bush

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

High Correlation Between Socialism and Penis Envy

VDH reads the Pew leaves:

Contrast all that dislike with those nations who appreciate the United States, which tells us something much different about America’s role in the world. The Kenyans and Ghanaians, for example, reveal more admiration for the United States (87 and 80 percent, respectively) than do we Americans ourselves.

In fact, all of sub-Saharan Africa — poor and with a past of exploitation — has an unbelievably high regard for the U.S. Perhaps black Africans appreciate our support for democracy, realize that we were not colonialists, see that blacks are succeeding in the U.S. in a way unthinkable elsewhere, know that we spearhead the global effort to bring AIDS relief and stop the genocide in Darfur, and sympathize with their own long struggle against radical Islam.

Much of Eastern Europe is similarly well-inclined. Poland, for example (61 percent approval rating), does not trust Russia — and does not trust Europe to offer any help in a future hour of crisis.

Likewise, many countries of Latin America — Mexico, Chile, Peru — poll staunchly pro-American. We have tried to support these shaky Latin American democracies, welcomed their immigrants, and allowed billions of dollars to be sent back as worker remittances. And unlike a Spain, France, Germany, the Muslim Middle East, Russia, or China, such confident emerging nations also are not hung up on perceived past grandeur, blame-gaming the new superpower for their own subordinate roles.

Indeed, how strange that these poor countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America are more favorable to America than are oil-rich sheikdoms, rich European socialist republics, and Middle East recipients of massive U.S. aid.
There’s no point even wondering what reasons the European subspecies of the anti-American even has on any given day. Over the decades, the only things that have changed have been the reasons they give themselves for their irrational venomous ire. Either way, it’s the pattern and persistence of that bile that indicates a pathology in them rather than us.

“In France, To Earn A Lot Of Money Is To Be Seen As A Little Bit Criminal”

However, the smart ones are voting with their feet:

Angry at paying more than 72 percent of his income in taxes, he moved to the ski resort of Gstaad last December in a storm of publicity. After Sarkozy's May election, Hallyday hinted he might come back. His press attache Catherine Battner says he has yet to make up his mind.

Fleeing the Tax

Households fleeing the fortune tax climbed to a record 649 in 2005 from 370 in 1997, according to a study by French Senator Philippe Marini.

Another study by the Economic Analysis Council, which advises the government, says about 10,000 business directors fled in the last 15 years, taking 70 billion to 100 billion euros ($137 billion) in capital to invest elsewhere.

Marini said the average age of the emigrants is 53, compared with 66 for the 394,000 people still in France who pay the tax. A third of those who left had started paying it only two years earlier, suggesting they represented new and growing wealth, he said.
Bend over Marianne. This is what you said you wanted.
“The Right to Laziness,” a 19th century book by Paul Lafargue, Karl Marx’s son-in-law, advised against working more than three hours a day. And French author Honore de Balzac famously said, “Behind every great fortune lies a crime.” This prejudice drove French citizens to Switzerland, Belgium, the U.K. and the
U.S., where at least 500,000 of them reside, either to make more or keep more of what they have. London and the U.S. are preferred refuges for younger people. Switzerland, with about 200,000 French residents, attracts the retired and stars like Hallyday.
Wealth? Obviously stolen by “the bosses”!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Envious French preSS can't stop jawboning about Sarko's USA vacation

It's the dog days of August and French journalists are bored with the usual stories of food poisoning on the French Rivera, droughts, and floods. As always, when in need of inspiration, they are looking West. If America didn't exist, you'd have to invent it just to give the French something to talk about.

Sarkozy takes on America's liberal media

French Favelas

The France they don't want you to see ...

The eyesores that are the Parisian homeless are finally being told to "bouge de là". (Paris ne veut plus des tentes de SDF dans ses rues) : pas de lapsus révélateur par hasard ???

Toujours les mêmes donneurs de leçons, in-tar-risables loose-rs imprégnés d'un ersatz de pensée et tellement obsédés par tout ce qui est américain qu'ils ne voient jamais ce qui se passe chez eux. Voilà encore des foutaises de gôcho qui vont rester bien coincées dans les annales.

Packed fudge

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Get a Job, Ya Bum

So say Pejman Yousefzadeh discussed Sarko’s free market bait and switch:

At best, all Nicolas Sarkozy will do is to lull the French and Europeans into a state of complacency, making them believe that he and his policies can save them from the kind of free economic competition of which they are so deathly afraid. But eventually, a day of reckoning will have to come when France and Europe realize that either they must undertake radical reforms, or be left in the economic dust by Britain and America. Nicolas Sarkozy and people who share his views regularly present themselves as friends of Europe. But no enemy of the Continent, no matter how dedicated, could so effectively plan for Europe’s long term decline as well as Sarkozy and his allies are doing now.
Nonetheless that seems to be the exception for reality that the people of the cultural exception want. They’ll never be able to say that he didn’t listen to them.

- Tip ‘o the hat to alert reader Frank

Ça caillasse en Suisse aussi

Swiss youths supporting their French youth brothers and sisters.

“The truth is very different. The fact is, the rest of the world is jealous...”





Here’s another sort of Jacques Attali They all have something to sell.