Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Euro-dictum is Simple

The more dead wood the better life will be. For the dead wood, that is.

"The huge number of people now working for the EU reflects its huge influence. The difficulty of finding out how many officials are working there reflects the EU's wider problem with a lack of transparency. It is a complicated and opaque institution, which leaves it wide open to influence from lobbyists and vested interests."
In fact in the absence of transparency Open Europe had to figure it out by calculation.

Friday, September 05, 2008

N-ice!


Under the Radar

While the rest of the world is pre-occupied with the US presidential elections, the Party of European Socialists is quietly gearing up for the European Parliment elections next summer. Below are some of the key party ideas being work-shopped recently before a focus group:

Then One Day They Discovered that THEY were "the Other"

The main teaching union in France has criticised the education minister's plans to offer free English classes in the school holidays next year.
You can always tell something has become a cult when it their actions are decisively made despite what benefit it will take away from its’ adherents. In that spirit we see the bificated nature of the French view of its’ own culture: both obsessed with its failure, and motivated by a need to mark its own supremacy.
Xavier Darcos announced the plans on Monday, insisting that speaking fluent English was the key to success.

The Snes-FSU union leader Roland Hubert said Mr Darcos should be concentrating on what happens during school time.

The policy marks a real break from the traditional Gallic strategy of promoting the French language.

Two years ago, the then President, Jacques Chirac, famously stormed out of an EU summit when a fellow Frenchman began making his speech in English.
In other words, these "internationalists" would reject out of spite the language most broadly used now in diplomacy and international cultural exchange, the arts, and business.

All the while we're sure to receive lectures on others' provinciality, hear these arguments as to why one should learn Mandarin and Arabic that the rest of the world of business, especially the private sectors of French business have known for decades, that is, without having been lauded in poem and song by a narrow enducational establishment. The worst part is the air in which it's dispensed - that of speaking in the thrid person of other cultures no differently than when it was concidered enlightened to call the hard working "noble savages".

Bug or Feature?

A interesting quick search of that paper of record, The New York Times.

Search 1
Search term: "red meat"
Search period: 24 August 2008 to 30 August 2008
Significance of search period: Democratic Convention
Number of results: 0

Search 2
Search term: "red meat"
Search period: 31 August 2008 to 06 September 2008
Significance of search period: Republican Convention
Number of results: 7

French Actors Who Make It Abroad

A list of French(wo)men who make it abroad (read: in Hollywood)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Running into an old friend

Are you lonely? Nobody to talk to? Ran into an old friend recently, he/she is always willing to have a chat:



As an added bonus, if the cableTV is out our old/new friend is just like watching any number of people on MSNBC in the US.

Being there

Can this just not go the way of the Stability and Growth Pact or the Lisbon Agenda? You know, one of those things that people pretend exists but in reality is just quietly ignored:

The French EU Presidency will this week attempt to clinch a deal on sustainability criteria for biofuels in order to ensure that the Union's goal of increasing their share to 10% of transport fuels by 2020 does not provoke major negative environmental side-effects.

...

In accordance with earlier
EurActiv reports, the deal would centre on a two-phased approach, under which only biofuels delivering life-cycle CO2 savings of at least 35% compared to fossil fuels would count towards the 10% target. This figure would then be scaled up to 50% as of 2017 – subject to an in-depth policy review in 2014.

According to diplomatic sources, national experts also agree on the need to monitor the indirect effects of changes of land use, including deforestation (indirectly increasing CO2 output) and food price hikes caused as land traditionally used for food production is shifted to biofuel production.

On the other hand, producers cultivating biofuel crops on 'degraded land' could be entitled to pollute more, receiving CO2 'bonuses' of up to 29 grammes – although no consensus has been reached on this figure as yet.

Sources say the agreement would also require biofuel production to respect binding environmental criteria as regards the protection of biodiversity and areas with high carbon stocks, such as wetland or forest areas.


Promising everything, delivering nothing.

Estonians Ought to Listen to Their Neighbors and Wonder if They Are Really Closer to the EU than Georgia Is

In an interview with Olivier Truc in Le Monde, Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
appelle les autres pays à repenser radicalement leur approche de la Russie. "La théorie post-1991 du nouvel ordre mondial, après l'effondrement de l'URSS, selon laquelle la Russie n'envahirait plus, est désormais obsolète, déclare-t-il au Monde. L'hypothèse fondamentale de toute l'architecture de la sécurité européenne depuis 1991 a été changée. Nous devons complètement repenser l'idée même de sécurité en Europe. Cela prendra des mois, voire des années."

Il sait, par expérience, qu'avec la Russie, les choses ne changent que si la Russie elle-même le décide. Aussi, discuter de punition ne l'intéresse pas actuellement. Cela ne ferait que glisser sur la carapace russe. "Nous avons affaire à une Russie agressive, poursuit-il. Voyez, par exemple, (le président russe Dmitri) Medvedev sermonner le président moldave (Vladimir) Voronine à propos d'une autre de ces régions mafieuses qu'est la Transnistrie. C'est un retour à la loi de la jungle, quelque chose entre le comportement de l'empire britannique du XIXe siècle et le gangsta rap : c'est à cela que cela me fait penser.

…Quand on lui demande s'il craint que la Russie prenne le prétexte de venir en aide à l'importante minorité russophone qui vit en Estonie (environ un tiers de la population, comme dans la Lettonie voisine) pour interférer dans les affaires du pays, ainsi que l'a suggéré le député européen estonien Tunne Kelam, M. Ilves est tout aussi catégorique. "On ne fait rien aux Russes d'Estonie qui pourrait entraîner une telle réaction, répond-il. Et la dernière fois que cet argument a été utilisé, c'était par Milosevic, et avant par Hitler. Quand on évoque ce genre d'arguments, on ne parle pas de l'Europe civilisée."

La principale erreur, selon lui, a été commise lors du sommet de l'OTAN à Bucarest, en avril, quand la Géorgie et l'Ukraine se sont vu refuser l'accès au Plan d'action pour l'adhésion (MAP) à l'OTAN, notamment sur le blocage de l'Allemagne et de la France. "Je crois qu'il est assez évident que ce refus a été interprété par la Russie comme un feu vert pour faire ce qu'elle voulait en Géorgie", dit-il.

Ce qui l'inquiète, aujourd'hui, c'est la réaction de certains hommes politiques européens qui disent craindre la formation d'une "coalition anti-Russie" au sein de l'UE. "Je dois dire que je suis plus inquiet de la formation d'une "coalition pro-Russie" qui place ses intérêts financiers au-dessus des valeurs fondamentales de l'Europe", conclut-il.

And yet, those ever-more-lucid-than-everybody-else Le Monde readers are back in the comments section. If they are representative of French citizens as a whole, then what is denounced in France over and over and over and over again is… American imperialism and the American… "gangster nation":
il faut être bien naïf pour croire que les bases et les flottes de guerre (hors des USA), l'OTAN, les coups d'Etat de la CIA ne servent pas d'abord et avant tout les intérêts de l'impérialisme US, y compris en Europe. L'invasion de l'Irak, incomparablement plus injustifiée et barbare que celle de la Russie vous satisfait-elle? Seriez vous de ceux qui pronent la guerre et le colonialisme tant que cela profite aux "Occidentaux"? Peu vous importe que cela soit dû au gangster US?
There is more about America's occupation of Europe and America's threats towards Russia (with "their agent, Yeltsin")
Les USA occupent l'Europe depuis 1945 (bases, présidents soumis), et auraient dû s'en retirer au moins en 1991, car sans plus de pretexte "soviétique" (d'autant que leur agent Eltsine détruisait la Russie). A contrario les USA en ont profité pour occuper de plus en plus de pays et menacer la Russie à sa frontière (pays baltes, Pologne, Géorgie). Alors que les dirigeants européens veulent rester soumis aux USA, la Russie le refuse. Les européens libres devraient prendre exemple de la Russie.
You read that right: the Baltics, Poland, and Georgia are occupied by the Americans while "free [sic] Europeans" should look to Russia as an example! Better yet! Finland (and finlandization) are subject to praise (!?!!)
Avec des dirigeants nés à l'Etranger, éduqués aux Etats-Unis et formés à la propagande anti-communiste, on comprend que les relations se détériorent avec le voisin russe : le prisme idéologique n'a jamais fait bon ménage avec le pragmatisme ! Ces pays jouent avec le feu et ce n'est pas l'OTAN qui les préservera d'une révolte intérieure de leur minorité russe qui se plaint depuis longtemps d'être des citoyens de seconde zone !Pourquoi personne ne s'inspire de la sage Finlande ?
If Europe does not have a European army, whose fault is it? Nato's — of course! (Which is also "[le] véritable agresseur en l'espèce")
N'est-ce pas à cause de l'Otan que nous n'avons pas une armée européenne digne de ce nom ? L'otan, dans ce glacis, est plus ou moins incapable de servir la paix (n'est-ce pas, quand-m^me, ce à quoi nous aspirons ?), les américains ayant des vues mercantiles sur la région, et les russes ne voulant pas se faire tondre la laine sur le dos. Ah, c'est sûr, il faut montrer ses muscles devant Poutine, pour être crédible, mais tant qu'on comptera sur l'ami américain pour régler nos prob
In fact, why isn't Estonia's President — and therefore this article — credible in the first place? Because Toomas Hendrik Ilves is intractably linked to big, bad, treacherous America!
Cet ancien journaliste de Radio Free Europe, né en exil en Suède et éduqué aux Etats-Unis...Tout est dit dans cette petite phrase ! les Européens convaincus n'ont que faire des "petits conseils "de ce pas trés "honorable" correspondant
In any case, there is hardly reason to be distrustful of the Russians, since "one cannot see Moscow's interests in taking over those territories". Big bad America's interests, on the other hand, that's another story: those interests can be seen everywhere…
Les inquiétudes des baltes sont pour le moins compréhensibles, pour ne pas dire légitimes (encore qu'on ne voit pas quel intérêt Moscou aurait à remettre la main sur ces territoires).
Indeed: Poor Russians!
Pourquoi les Baltes, la Georgie, L'Ukraine dans l'Otan ? Depuis leur accession à l'Indépendance ces pays sont en ébullition perpétuelle! L'Ukraine brime Russes et Uniates ! La Georgie assistée de barbouzes états-uniennes opprime les Ossètes, Abkhazes, et Adjares ! L'Ukraine, la Pologne, les Pays balte sont souvent dirigés par des émigrés élèves des Universités EU qui n'ont rien appris ni rien oublié ! L'Ouest a tourné la page avec l’Allemagne, l'Est doit en faire autant avec la Russie.
Meanwhile, Hubert Védrine has these stirring and courageous words to say in Le Monde — namely that Russia's reaction is normal, as Moscow is a victim of faits accomplis:
"Nous sommes dans une situation d'interdépendance", estime M. Védrine, qui ne permet pas à l'UE de suivre la ligne dure préconisée par les pays baltes, en appliquant des sanctions ou en envoyant des troupes de maintien de la paix :

Pour l'ancien chef de la diplomatie française, ce conflit doit être l'occasion pour l'Occident de repenser sa politique russe. "Les Occidentaux se sont fait des illusions quand ils ont cru que l'histoire était finie après la fin de l'Union soviétique, explique-t-il, quelqu'un d'aussi pondéré que Michael Gorbatchev n'a cessé de répéter que la Russie était toujours placée devant des faits accomplis : l'élargissement de l'OTAN, le développement du bouclier antimissile américain, l'indépendance du Kosovo... Ce n'est pas étonnant qu'à un moment ou à un autre, il y ait une réaction. Même si elle est brutale et disproportionnée."
One interesting comment, though, is the one in which one (lone) Le Monde reader is so stunned by the ubiquitous pro-Russia comments that he cannot but wonder if the newspaper's comments section hasn't been taken over by the KGB:
Ce qui me frappe dans les réactions d'abonnés aux articles sur l'invasion de la Géorgie par la Russie, c'est le nombre de partisans de la Russie. La pauvreté des arguments, réprise plate de la propagande russe, et leur agressivité anti-américaine font que je me demande s'il ne s'agit pas de trolls du KGB. Les Russes ont déjà montré de quoi ils sont capables en matière d'attaques Internet et ça me paraît plausible que Moscou essaie de vendre ainsi sa salade sur les sites de journaux occidentaux.
If Antoine B read La Bannière Étalée, he would learn things such as the comment by Stanislas Sorokine, a KGB colonel during the Cold War:
Il n'était pas trop difficile de trouver des Français qui, sans avoir le sentiment d'espionner au profit de l'URSS, étaient disposés à une collaboration contre un ennemi commun : les Etats-Unis. C'était après tout la ligne officielle de votre gouvernement à l'époque.
A question to ask oneself (whether one is French or American or Estonian or Russian or another nationality): Has that French line, official or otherwise, ever changed?

Back and to the left, Back and to the left...

One wonders how long it will take the fevered minds of the Left to find something (anything!) with which to criticize Sarah Palin's quite impressive debut at the GOP convention.

A leading possibility may just be a throwback to a previous hexagonal moonbat reality. Break out the Birkenstocks and adjust the tin-foil hat for the proper frequency, Sarah Palin was wired!

As they want you to see things:
















Proof things are not always as they say. Enhanced for the common prole. What they do not want you to see:









While only rank speculation, one can assume the red is a hardwire to Cheney, the green is undoubtedly Rove, the pink is probably a compact receiver designed by the CIA. The other colour-coded anomolies are as yet unknown. Certainly they are links to the Rothchild's, Bilderberger's, and/or other assorted New World Order types.

Do note our moonbattery brothers and sisters will undoubtedly emphasize that while the above 'information' is not yet proven to be true, the key point is that the above information might be true.

Every Democratic presidential nominee for president and vice president in the last seven elections has been a lawyer

On the Democratic side, Barack Obama got out of Harvard Law School, worked for a firm, offered his legal expertise as a community organizer and went into politics
writes Victor Davis Hanson in Want Real Change? Quit Nominating Lawyers!
Joe Biden graduated from law school and almost immediately ran for office.

In the Democratic primary, winner Obama, runner-up Hillary Clinton and third-place finisher John Edwards were all lawyers. In 2004, both Democratic nominees, John Kerry and Edwards, were lawyers. Al Gore, who ran in 2000, left law school without a degree and went into politics. His running mate, Joe Lieberman, was a Yale-trained lawyer. Mike Dukakis, the 1988 Democratic presidential nominee, was a Harvard-trained lawyer and ran with lawyer Lloyd Bentsen.

In fact, every Democratic presidential nominee for president and vice president in the last seven elections — except Gore who dropped out of law school to run for Congress — has been a lawyer.

…So, what's wrong with the Democratic nominee once again being a lawyer?

After all, legal minds are trained to think precisely and evaluate both sides of an issue.

The problem is that lawyers usually do not run companies, defend the country, lead people, build things, grow food or create capital.
To which one reader points out:
Lawyers are trained to be able to argue for whatever side is paying them and that truth is whatever they can convince people to believe. That makes them a perfect fit for the leftists who now dominate the Democrats. The left and the lawyers share the need for more and more of us to perceive ourselves as victims. The left long ago recognized that their only hope of implementing their agenda was with law made from the bench by sympathetic judges because even the increasingly ignorant public could not be convinced to implement it legislatively. the Ivy League law school bona fides also feeds the "we're smarter than you and know what's good for you" mindset of the left. All this and more has created the codependency between the lawyers and the left which threatens us all and bids us to remember the words of the Bard "First kill all the lawyers".

Heyna or No, Joe?

Since Joe Biden landed on the Democratic ticket, we've all been treated to commentary attesting to the Lincolnesque rise of this proud son of Scranton, Pa. Here we read the references to "working-class roots." There we see a headline trumpeting a "blue-collar messenger." And everywhere we turn, we bump into the most treasured compound-adjective of them all: lunch-bucket.
Something the man never owned. In fact, even at his age owing the abject unfamiliarity with what actual working people do, only an eccentric would have had a lunch-bucket after 1970 at the latest. But let's not get hung up on that, let's gat back to proletarian-hero-Joe, elected at the age of 29, that veritable Mister middle class who has spent more than half of his life in congress. After all, Scranton, PA is a lunch-bucket kind of town (when the allusion is politically useful), and not just a place where mafia induced insurance fires are more common than factory openings for all those Joe-lunch-buckets that the lifelong senator is supposed to be just like. Where exactly was this working-class nature and these supposed coal-country origins of his when he's adamantly opposing coal mining?

The baffling and evasive use of this allusion goes on:
The New York Times started it off with a column hailing this "lunch-bucket Democrat." The Boston Globe adds ethnicity, writing about "an Irish Catholic lunch-bucket Democrat." The Dallas Morning News emphasizes personality, celebrating a "gregarious lunch bucket Democrat" -- to distinguish him, evidently, from the nongregarious variety. The Economist contributes virtue, characterizing Sen. Biden as "a perfect example of a lunch bucket Democrat made good." And on it goes, with everyone from the Washington Post and Huffington Post to the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and the Associated Press serving up allusions to the senator's lunch bucket.
A rich piece of Americana, the lunch bucket evokes coal miners toting their picks and pails to work in some Thomas Hart Benton mural. Leave aside that coal mining is probably not Mr. Biden's favorite imagery. It's also somewhat out of date. In class terms, the circular lunch buckets that the sons of Scranton once carried into the mines have largely yielded to Tupperware containers stacked up inside the Dunder Mifflin fridge.
Were it not for "antiquing" excursions looking for precious junk they don't understand, I'd really like to know if anyone at the New York Times has actually seen a lunch-bucket. You know the type: in search of Americana to carefully place as conversation pieces in their "genuine" renovated rowhouses on the historic register... entirely unaware that their attempts to impersonate Americans aren't really going as well as they think they appear to...
Back to coal-crackin' Joe working hard at the colliary, we find his "humble" upbringing is hardly humble by the standards of Lackawanna, Luzerne, and the rest of the coal counties. In fact, while there really were coal crackers, strapped severely during the depression, reduced often to sending children to pick the same coal off of the railroad tracks that many of the same children (yes, those were the days - children) were mining, young Joe's father was doing rather much better as a sales representative for Amoco, and later a specialty products rep. He was one of those dreaded "businessmen". A middle-man of simplistic-lefty myth that they would tell you (were it not a democrat running) parasitically gets in the way of the people owning the means of production, and all that stuff they learned about in graduate school.
In 1941, Mr. Biden, while employed as a sales representative for Amoco Oil Company in Harrisburg, PA, married Jean Finnegan of Scranton.

During World War II, Mr. Biden was an executive in Boston, MA, of a war industry that supplied "plastic hulls," a special waterproof sealant, applied to all U.S. merchant-marine ships built during the war.

Following the war, he was co-owner of an airport and crop-dusting service on Long Island, New York.

In 1953 he moved with his family to the Wilmington suburb of Mayfield in Claymont, DE and returned to sales as manager for several Wilmington automobile agencies.

He then spent 15 years working in real estate condominium sales in New Castle County and in Rehoboth Beach for the Patterson-Schwartz agency.
In other words, he was more like one of "the bosses" of Marxist paradigmatic falsehoods or John Edwards Edwardian myth of two Americas – one always being fit to pit against the other. Like Joe, with his union card, cloth cap, and yes that lunch bucket we're treated to a smokescreen that is supposed to lend credibility to his planned cantankerous role as an attack dog in this election. It's okay, after all, he's one of those working men who's just come off his shift and is entitled to be drunk. Every one of those "proletarians" at the NYT probably quite sure that that's all those people are good for.

In the mean time, they're going to be objective and try to shoot holes through his female opponent who actually IS middle class. Not the kind of middle class that is said to suffer, pity itself, and lend credibility to those pretending to care about some sort of one of "two Americas" that are now to magically unite... the kind that finds a way to genuine accomplishment without the fake pity of a morally repugnant elite trying hard to appear sympathetic for the sake of their self-image.

The litmus test is even simpler: Heyna or no, Joe? If you've never heard that phrase, you wouldn't know a Northeast PA working class root if it smacked you with a sweaty kielbasa.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Magazine Pauper Doings

Speigel, like their transnational brethren of the one-trak Borg-like minds of most of the press did their bit for “the cause” by putting John McCain on the cover, especially airbrushed to look old and menacing. Title “the cold warrior” it scares it’s readership by suggesting that gasp that he might still win! Sounds like they would prefer that the election didn’t actually go to a vote.

As all politicians lend all manner of passion to the middle class and trying to convince people that they ARE middle class, the US press doesn’t seem to quite know what to do. They appear to be rather perplexed by the actual middle-class nature of Sarah Palin. The Union’s Local in London is much the same. Between stilted descriptions of the candidate and pandering to the press reports of her family’s travails, they read off opinions. All of them parrot stock lefty platitudes about her daughter, as if shocked that the conservatives in America would have the temerity to run a conservative.



Remember now, the mainstream press are of course, not biased. That an evening news viewer would know absolutlely nothing about


Sarah Palin’s husband had a DUI arrest when he was 22. The information came to light within a day, and filled the airwaves. At the same age, Obama used cocaine and is now the actual candidate and not a spouse was pretty well silenced, it was hushed. It was later cited as a reason we ourselves should all believe that anyone objecting to such a thing needed a high-colonic. But those defenses carried out by the press on behalf of a candidate, are of course, simply a matter of standards in reporting, as it’s still called that these days.
"They have a tradition of nominating fun, bantamweight cheerleaders from the West."

-Maureen Dowd, writing in

the New York Times

To do anything else would be called “swiftboating”. Unless you’re a leftist, and you get your campaign operatives to attack your opponent’s vice presidential candidate’s teenage daughter. That sort of treatment of birth, life and death appear to not be above somebodies’ pay grade.

Shirking their 'duty' to society?

Individuals are endlessly showered by hard-left statists about the "need" for ever more taxation and ever more government spending, all in the name of the vaguely defined nothingness of "social justice".

For a moment put yourself in the heavily-soiled Birkenstocks of our hard-left statist brothers and sisters. It is quite easy to do: turn off your rationality, your individuality, your thought processes, and become a sheep capable only of bleating emotive-based slogans which are devoid of logic and thought. One of your absolute key bleats will be about the "need" for "social justice". Central to his particular bleat:

"Everybody should contribute (ie. pay taxes) their fair share to ensure a just and civil society!" - Repeat ad nauseus.

Now, slowly ease out of the Birkenstocks and return to being a rational individual. As touched upon here and pointed out specifically today in the WSJ:

About 38% of U.S. households pay no income tax today.

The stat is indeed true and if memory serves correctly the next 12% in the food-chain "contributes" approximately 3% in income taxes to the "betterment" of society. The hardcore-leftists are always banging on about the "rich not paying their fair share in taxes". By "rich" of course the statists are bleating about those individuals who already pay millions/billions in to the coffers of government.

Something of a clue for the leftists when looking for those individuals not "paying their fair share for a just and civil society", start at the bottom and work your way up. Once you get the free-riders at the bottom "contributing" anything then we can talk about those already paying through the nose for the socialistic playthings "provided" to us all by your church, government.

Some individuals believe the movie Midnight Express is a love story.

I do not happen to be one of those individuals.

Certainly there will be changes to this exquisite bit coming out of Bruxelles, if not, good night and good luck:

British citizens could be convicted in their absence by foreign courts for traffic, credit card or other criminal offences under plans approved in principle by the European Parliament.

The proposals would allow citizens to be extradited automatically under fast-track procedures at the request of another European Union country on the basis of a decision by the foreign court.

Tim Worstall rather gets to the point on the matter:

Tried witout a jury, tried without defense. And all so that we can stop Germany from invading France again.

Not really all that good a deal really, is it?

Gosh, exactly why will the British government not hold a referendum on Lisbon? One would think the above would be a sure-fire vote getter.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Remember jolie demoiselle, the last summer, nous, la tour Eiffel…

French singers and musicians perform more and more of their songs partly or wholly in English, write Yves Eudes and Odile de Plas in Le Monde.
Pour être bien certain d'être incompréhensible, Sébastien [Tellier] a une méthode infaillible : "Je fais exprès de bafouiller." Pour se justifier, il élargit le débat : "Quand on est musicien et français, une grande malchance s'installe aussitôt, dit-il. Un Français qui chante du rock, ça fait nul, et c'est pareil pour le rap, le R'n'B, etc. Parce que dans l'âme, ce sont des trucs américains, c'est une question de culture, c'est profond. Alors dès qu'un Français fait du rock, il a l'air d'un blaireau, et voilà. Ce n'est pas un hasard si beaucoup de groupes français qui chantent en anglais dégradent leur voix avec des synthétiseurs, pour cacher ce son ringard du Français qui voudrait passer pour un Américain."

Grâce à son anglais inintelligible, Sébastien Tellier s'est construit une carrière internationale. Il parcourt l'Europe, et prépare deux tournées aux Etats-Unis : "J'aimerais aussi travailler là-bas avec leurs ingénieurs du son, ce sont les meilleurs en tout. Le rêve américain s'est peut-être effondré pour des tas de gens en Europe, mais pour les musiciens, il est intact."

Aujourd'hui, en France, des dizaines de jeunes musiciens professionnels chantent en anglais. Nés dans les années 1970 et 1980, ils baignent depuis la petite enfance dans la musique anglo-saxonne qu'écoutaient leurs parents. Souvent issus des classes moyennes aisées, ils ont toute facilité pour apprendre l'anglais, voyagent souvent, ont des copains à l'étranger. Pour démarrer leur carrière artistique, ces enfants de la mondialisation composent d'abord des musiques d'inspiration anglo-saxonne, avant de franchir spontanément l'étape ultime, l'écriture en anglais.

…Les plus jeunes en arrivent à rejeter complètement la chanson d'expression française. … Gérard Pont, patron des Francofolies depuis quatre ans et défenseur militant de la langue française, ne s'alarme pas de cette évolution. "Jusqu'à une date récente, le problème ne se posait pas, les Français qui chantaient en anglais étaient marginaux. Mais les choses changent, dit-il. C'est dommage pour la chanson francophone, mais des tas de jeunes groupes français qui choisissent l'anglais ont du talent, et ils ont un public. Ce festival doit être le reflet de ce qui se passe en France, et rester ouvert aux nouvelles tendances, sans oeillères. Je suis sûr que la chanson d'expression française a un bel avenir, mais si on décidait de bannir l'anglais des Francofolies, ce serait un suicide. Aujourd'hui, je défends "la chanson d'ici" : un artiste qui est né et a grandi à Bordeaux a toute sa place aux "Francos", même s'il chante en anglais."

Somebody really should do something...

Maybe a conference, a working group, pass a law. Better yet an inter-governmental working group planning a conference in the hopes of passing a law:

The sun has reached a milestone not seen for nearly 100 years: an entire month has passed without a single visible sunspot being noted.

The event is significant as many climatologists now believe solar magnetic activity – which determines the number of sunspots -- is an influencing factor for climate on earth.

Of course, every sunspot has a silver-lining. Can anyone say, "New Funding Stream Possibility"? However, any proposal for funding could be tricky. Afterall, how will the workshop conclusions be implemented?

As with any consensus riven process, what was the original reax to those who previously predicted this situ and pronounced upon the possible impact on climate change:

In 2005, a pair of astronomers from the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson attempted to publish a paper in the journal Science. The pair looked at minute spectroscopic and magnetic changes in the sun. By extrapolating forward, they reached the startling result that, within 10 years, sunspots would vanish entirely. At the time, the sun was very active. Most of their peers laughed at what they considered an unsubstantiated conclusion.

The journal ultimately rejected the paper as being too controversial.

Mmmm, the purity of "settled science".

Futureshock

It is never too early to stake out a claim on a top position in the coming neo-peasantry era:

Newspauper Doings

Everyone once thought globalisation was nothing more than a "race to the bottom". The true race to the bottom seems to be found in the balance sheets of our premiere vanity press outlets.

Of course, if they actually turned a profit perhaps our betters would understand the destruction of hyper-taxation writ large.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Statist Quo

Whether it be the Guardian, the New York Times, the Independent, BBC Radio, or other ultra-statist commentators, the issue of income "inequity" is trumpted loud and long as the most pressing issue of the day (alongside the environment, 'free' healthcare, fuel poverty, neo-protectionism, tax avoidance, 'windfall' taxation, food miles, organic farming, GMOs, too tight underwear, you name it). An issue that if not "fixed" (by higher taxation and more government, natch) will destroy "social justice" by having all but the "mega-rich" in the workhouse. No questions asked, no alternatives envisioned.

The concept of income "inequity" is of course a relative concept. By being a relative concept, income "inequity" is also a concept of some subjectivity. There is no doubt that a poor person in Brasil would heartily change places with a "poor" person in the US or Europe. Doubtful whether that would play out in reverse of course.

Our statist brothers and sisters see this subject as a static truism which will never ever change. We are all stuck in place exactly where we are today for the rest of our lives. No opportunity to change our position, no opportunity to move up in the income stakes, we are all doomed to a Hobbseian existance of peasant farming .......... forever. The exception being the "mega-rich" of course.

As far as the US goes, an interesting report on the ability of US earners to move up the income ladder, a concept called income "mobility". A dynamic concept which by and large only dooms those who choose to doom themselves. If you are in the US, you stand a good chance of movin' on up to that dee-lux apartment in the sky. Conclusions from that report on income "mobility" in the US:

The analysis found that more than half of taxpayers (56 percent by one measure and 55 percent by another measure) moved to a different income quintile between 1996 and 2005. About half (58 percent by one measure and 45 percent by another measure) of those in the bottom income quintile in 1996 moved to a higher income group by 2005.

Economic growth resulted in rising incomes for most taxpayers over the period from 1996 to 2005. Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation. In addition, the real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period. Further, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those in the higher income groups.

The analysis also found that the composition of the very top income groups changes dramatically over time. Less than half (40 percent or 43 percent by different measures) of those in the top 1 percent in 1996 were still in the top 1 percent in 2005. Only about 25 percent of individuals in the top 0.01 percent in 1996 remained in the top 0.01 percent in 2005.

Les soldats français savent que pour réussir une mission de paix, il faut parfois mener des opérations de guerre

Speaking of the "dix soldats français … morts en Afghanistan", Bernard Kouchner and Hervé Morin write in Le Monde that
ils savaient que pour réussir une mission de paix, il faut parfois mener des opérations de guerre.
While the foreign and defense ministers speak well, though, Le Monde readers and pundits (such as Bernard Dupaigne and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, a député who, after eight years, still hasn't learned to spell the first name of Georges Bush) seem to reject their viewpoint en masse (to put it diplomatically), Collège de France professor Gérard Fussman seemingly seeing some sort of monkey business in the fact that when they were killed, the French troops were protecting the flank of America's Begram base (Fussman adds that "les troupes de l'OTAN sont dans une situation pire que les troupes soviétiques") and numerous Le Monde readers (i.e., numerous French citizens) preferring to evoke American folly, American treachery, American plots, and "the American Big Brother".

The home front: "An ocean of cowardice"?

One commentator compares the government ministers' opinion piece to the pronouncements of Nazi Germany and/or Vichy France ("de la propagande de masse du même type que celle des années 1940 à 1944"), "La France n'a rien à faire dans cette galère" says another, "SOLDATS RENTREZ CHEZ VOUS CETTE GUERRE N'EST PAS LA NOTRE!" yells yet another, "l'éconiomie américaine est basée sur la guerre et nous, on suit" deplores a fourth, "Pourquoi ne parlent-ils pas du pipe line vers l'océan indien ????" asks a fifth, "l'Otan est l'invention des usa" charges a sixth (who respects all proper names' respective capital letters in his comment except… — for Uncle Sam's), "c'est une véritable dictature militaire US qui se cache derrière l'Otan et ses têtes de pont aux portes de la Russie" reveals a seventh (who adds that he hopes that Beijing will help bring America down — "Reste à espérer leur effondrement financier via la Chine et l'"himalaya" que représente les bons du trésor US"), as another evokes — I kid you not — the Russians as victims (!) of a plot masterminded by Bush ("torturés de voir comment on traite les russes victimes d'un complot ourdit par Bush") and a ninth evokes a future betrayal of NATO ("si demain il faut trahir l'OTAN ou l'Europe") while a tenth describes the war of the 1980s as pitting the Taliban terrorists, "amis des USA (qui les ont formés, armés, reçus à la Maison Blanche)", against (note the positive descriptives throughout the short phrase) "le régime laïc soutenu par l'URSS" (all-the while calling the 9-11 attacks a "preemptive attack by Bin Laden" (!!) — "probablement une attaque préventive de Bin Laden"), an eleventh quotes …Robespierre (!), and a clueless loser claims that it is the French "[qui] faisons le sale boulot pour les Americains" adding (just in case you were wondering), "ce qui rend le sacrifice de nos momes encore plus triste".

Meanwhile, one loner, fg, attempts to set things straight by putting the word "Mômes" (kids) for soldiers into perspective and by evoking "an ocean of cowardice" where "it is easier to throw up all over the Americans":
On s'engage au RPIMA [Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine] quand [on] est prêt, s'il le faut, à mourir en héros pour la France. C'est ce qu'ont fait ces 10 militaires. Au cours de l'Histoire, ce sont parfois quelques uns de ces hommes qui, plongés dans un océan de lâcheté, ont sauvé l'honneur. En d'autres temps, j'aurais préféré ne pas avoir à compter sur ceux qui refusent de voir le nouveau fascisme djihadiste pour ce qu'il est, sous prétexte que l'Afghanistan est loin et parce que c'est plus facile de vomir sur les américains.

Good Old Lefty San Francisco Values



With a good old Lefty San Francisco reaction too: the wife blames the US Dept. of Justice, prosecuting him to make up for “not catching terrorists.”