Friday, March 14, 2008

Monopolist, Heal Thyself

Funny how they’ll engage in triple jeopardy with any American tech company, but can’t get a single little public award to be competitive. Or cough up what is in this case, probably about 3 1/2 pages of interoperability information.

With these clowns the thing is never really about the thing.

The UN surrenders...

... to Kosovo Serbs.

Understatement of the year

France gets EU loot to go ahead and build the "European" search engine Quaero, which has been revealed to be a shill for Thomson's IPTV and other TV-on-demand gigs. After Chiraq's bluster and the frequent preening by his various stooges, we learn that this grand European project was really just a shallow Franco-French gimmick to prop up sales for strategic yogurt production.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Don't Tell the French That Barack Obama's Middle Name, Hussein, Should Not Be Mentioned…

You know, of course, about the controversy in the United States about using Barack Obama's middle name when referring to the Senator from Illinois. Hussein t'is, and why referring to the name is beyond the pale might seem strange, offhand, when most people know about the (respectively English, Irish, and Italian) middle names of Ronald Wilson Reagan, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It is true that the name is Muslim, that Hussein was the name of a foe of the United States, and that both (both Muslims in general and Mr Hussein in particular, that is) are known to have given Americans, and Westerners, a few headaches over the past few years. Still, to suggest that Barack's middle name provides a direct link with Saddam Hussein, directly or indirectly, seems specious indeed. Like saying FDR's Germanic-sounding name in the World War II era was a sign to keep one's distance from the New York governor.

Unless you're French, of course. As any reader knows (from whichever language Amazon website he orders from), they get a regular (a weekly?) email stating something to the effect that
We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated Such-and-Such-a-Title have also purchased Similar Title by Such-and-Such-an-Author. For this reason, you might like to know that Similar Title will be released on Such-and-Such a Date. You can pre-order yours for just $(Price-of-Item) by following the link below.
In that capacity, it might interest some that people (like myself) who ordered Le Livre Noir de Saddam Hussein (The Black Book of Saddam Hussein) when it came out (two and a half years ago) all seem to have gotten the email below, which reads as follows…

We've noticed that customers who have purchased or rated The Black Book of Saddam Hussein by Chris Kutschera … have also purchased Dreams from My Father by Barack Hussein Obama. For this reason, you might like to know that [the French translation of] Dreams from My Father will be released on 15 March 2008. You can pre-order yours by following the link below…
Incidentally: FYI, the translation of BHO's book loses the unconventional "from" form in French, making the title sound like a less distinctive Dreams of My Father (the only way to keep the original meaning would have been to make the French title much longer, say, as Les rêves qui me viennent de mon père)…

Leveraging France's leading civilian nuclear technology to gain diplomatic, commercial, and military advantages with countries in the Middle East

The recent war games in the Gulf with France, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are connected to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's nuclear diplomacy
write Michelle M. Smith and Charles D. Ferguson.
Sarkozy has been leveraging France's leading civilian nuclear technology to gain diplomatic, commercial and military advantages with countries in the Middle East, as well parts of Africa and Asia.
In (somewhat) related news, Reuters' Muriel Boselli reports that
France, one of the world's largest producers of atomic energy, must act fast to avoid a shortage of skilled staff to run its reactors and win a role at the heart of a global nuclear revival.

An aging work force, a lack of courses and low enthusiasm among young engineers, for a field that is often seen as secretive or unsafe, all threaten France's ambitions for nuclear power.

…But nuclear power is getting new attention in the United States and in Europe as concerns mount over the contribution of fossil fuels to global warming and over energy security. Europe's dependence on natural gas from Russia and North Africa is another concern.

Among companies vying for the business are Areva, a French builder of reactors for nuclear operators; Électricité de France; the German utility giant E.ON; and GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

…The number of schools that train nuclear engineers and plant operators has halved in the last 25 years … EDF, the world's largest nuclear operator, has acknowledged the problem, especially as it is trying to expand abroad.

To Punish and Enslave

Ain't America great?

Le discours belliqueux du Lt. Col. Chavez permet de resserrer les rangs et de disqualifier les opposants, aussitôt accusés de trahison de la patrie

Certains observateurs estiment que les discours [belliqueux] de M. Chavez ne doivent plus être pris au sérieux
writes Paulo A. Paranagua in Le Monde.
La preuve, disent-ils, c'est que l'escalade est retombée en une semaine. Une vision qui permet d'esquiver la question. Car à partir du moment où on déplace des forces aux frontières, les risques de dérapages ou de provocations augmentent.

…Criminalité et inflation incontrôlées, corruption sans limites, panne de l'industrie pétrolière, pénuries d'aliments et de gaz, fronde de la jeunesse, saturation des téléspectateurs qui se détournent des chaînes publiques, épuisement des programmes sociaux, les signaux d'alarme ne manquent pas pour le gouvernement vénézuélien. Mais la crise du "chavisme" englobe et dépasse toutes les difficultés. Le Parti socialiste unifié du Venezuela, la nouvelle formation présidentielle, prétend compter plus de 5 millions d'adhérents, mais à peine 80 000 militants se sont déplacés pour élire leurs dirigeants, le 9 mars. Le discours belliqueux du lieutenant-colonel Chavez, se posant en chef de guerre, permet de resserrer les rangs et de disqualifier les opposants, aussitôt accusés de trahison de la patrie.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And They Claim to Have a Monopoly on Tolerance and Decency

Rival Democratic camps battle over race and gender

The latest explosion followed a comment from Geraldine Ferraro, a Clinton supporter and onetime vice presidential candidate, that as a black man, Obama had received preferential treatment.
Leftie politicking is clearly a mental health issue.. It’s as skin deep as their deep, deep concern for “middle class families” and it typified by this bit of loony OCD about one reflexively “I’m not partisan” partisan of the press prodding another “I’m not partisan” partisan of the press.

...and in other news: Paying that kind of money, it’s probably a rather small tip. Besides, as an Uber-Alpha-dog, what is he doing paying for it to begin with?

So much for “The Caped Avenger” of fake populism and anti-commerce who some Democrats were hoping would be the “first Jewish President.” Why are these people so obsessed with genetics?

(wait for it!)

French concern with the damage America has suffered to its reputation during the Bush presidency

Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France and a longtime humanitarian, diplomatic and political activist on the international scene, says that whoever succeeds President George W. Bush in the White House may restore something of America's battered image and standing overseas, but "the magic is over."
Thus reports Alison Smale in the International Herald Tribune's Roger Cohen conversation.
Asked whether the United States could repair the damage it has suffered to its reputation during the Bush presidency and especially since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Kouchner replied, "It will never be as it was before."

"I think the magic is over," he continued. U.S. military power remains, he noted, and the new president "will decide what to do — there are many means to reestablish the image." But even that, he predicted, "will take time."

The wave of French entrepreneurs going to England shows no signs of abating

…legislation limiting the workweek to 35 hours hurts small businesses more than large corporations. Contrasting France with Germany and Italy and their networks of robust - often family-run - multinational companies, [Elie Cohen, a leading French economist,] said: "We don't have a fabric of small and midsize enterprises; it's an essential weakness.

"The rules are made for the big enterprises, not for the small," Cohen added. There are an estimated 500,000 French men and women living and working in England, most of them younger than 35. The wave of entrepreneurs going to England shows no signs of abating.
Thus writes John Tagliabue in the New York Times.
Among the first young entrepreneurs to reach Kent, Mr. Cothias founded Eikos in 1998 after the French company that had employed him refused to let him establish a subsidiary in Britain. To register his company in Britain cost him £1, or about $2. In France, his parents would have had to mortgage the family home to pay the applicable fees, he said.

He also learned that while an employer in France must pay pension, unemployment and social security charges that add up to 48 percent of an employee’s salary, British employers pay only about 10 percent.

He says he believes that such differences reveal a deeper philosophical divide. “The economy is viewed here as something needed, one of the most important parts of society, if you want everyone to be clothed and fed,” Mr. Cothias said. “This creates a totally different environment for business.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

NATO: France to prepare the implementation of permanent structured cooperation open to all the EU's 27 member states

Trust is built over time and through reciprocity
concludes Bernard Kouchner, France's minister of foreign and European affairs (in Le Monde).
Our openness to the United States and American support for the EU autonomously assuming its responsibilities shall advance hand in hand.

European defense and Europe's anchorage in the Atlantic alliance are two facets of the same defense and security policy, pursued in the name of the values we share.

The EU presidency, which France will assume on July 1, must allow us to open new perspectives in the field of security and defense, to fight against terrorism and proliferation more effectively, to reinforce our energy security, and to prepare the implementation of permanent structured cooperation open to all 27 member states, as made possible by the new treaty. We will resolutely strive toward that aim. We are already preparing ourselves under the presidency of our Slovenian friends. This progress will give full meaning to the renewal of our relationship with NATO.

Dogging for Diversity

Euro-enlightenment watch:

The police's National Diversity Expertise Centre (LECD) wants sex allowed in all public parks in the Netherlands. The police institute has advised the cities to follow the example of Amsterdam, De Telegraaf newspaper reported Friday.

In Amsterdam's Vondelpark, owners of dogs let off the leash can be fined, but sex will shortly be permitted. "Why should we try to maintain something that is actually impossible to maintain, which also causes little bother for others and for a certain group actually signifies much pleasure?"
Diversity. Okay. Do you happen to know any other words? Oh, I forgot... there’s “group pleasure” which in previous generations was expressed as a passive acceptance of mass slaughter and waiting in bread lines, and other forms of meagerness with some kind of literary potential.

Strangely enough though, it’s those dog people that are mad about it, basically over their hurt feelings and the possibility of having to take care of potential “Rover took over” moments. The old saw about the Dutch caring more about their pets than their children seems to have panned out.
Dog owners in Amsterdam are angry after the city legalised public sex in one of the city's most famous parks.
Councillors agreed that heterosexual and gay couples could have sex in the Vondelpark which has ten million visitors a year.
But they promised to clampdown on dog owners who let their pets walk in the park without a lead.
But in that quintessentially Dutch way, they make even this un-fun in their robotic and disinterested way:
"There still are rules," he added. "They must take their garbage with them afterwards and never have intercourse near the playground. The sex must be limited to the evening hours and night."
I will give them this: this is the first evidence of ‘two legs good, four legs bad’ that’s been heard of from the continent of divine wisdom in decades. It’s just that “diversity” usually means never offending anyone with guilt-derived political clout, like say Moroccans “youths” who are unlikely to find much appeal in either dogs nor boinking bipeds (or both) in the normally bog-like Dutch topsoil. I guess if we’re lucky, the fatter child molesters will even get stuck in it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Believable and well-researched stories that bring pleasant surprises and that are a delight to read is the most important ingredient for the reader

Because of General Leonardo, I have been interviewed by Giampietro Stocco, the webmaster of the alternate history website, UChronicles.

This is what Saber-rattling looks like... a Eco-touron’s idea of a “idyllic society.” It involves a female senior citizen in Mauritania hacking away at her napping neighbor until he’s in a coma.

Sing it!

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Then again maybe it doesn’t really matter these winners
When is the mother going to be charged by the UK police? She took a 15 year old out of school for 6 months and then allowed her to drink, take drugs and sleep around. She then left her in the care of an unknown character.

A Nitrogen Rich Self-Image

Chide as they might that Americans keep themselves psyched up about being a great society, it isn’t driven by the arrogance we see above that requires something about us to be the center of everyone else's world.

Sunday, March 09, 2008