Saturday, January 17, 2009

See if you can Find the Character

Hiding somewhere among the 1970s Soviet-style towerblocks, this reeeealy important public campaign/opportunity to spew some kind of invective was found:

"No Starbucks in Whitechapel!"

By Angela Saini

Protestors claim that the new Starbucks store on Whitechapel High Street will damage the East End's unique character
Should anyone actually locate that character in one of these chillingly named “tower hamlets” of aesthetic interest , contact a noisy local activist immediately – and demand an explanation why this would matter.

Update: character found. The kind that wants to recreate Kristallnacht.
A fire bomb was hurled into the premises of a cafe and coffee bar in London’s East End in the early hours of this morning. It was one of a series of ‘hate’ incidents in Whitechapel which have included anti-Semitic graffiti, believed to be linked to protests over Israel’s operations in Gaza. The thugs hurled the petrol bomb through the front glass door of Starbucks in Whitechapel Road, 300 yards from Brick Lane, at 1am. The manager was trapped in the office at the back and saw the intruders smashing their way into the premises on the CCTV and had to stay hidden.

A twofer

Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee stumbles into reality in her latest offering to the great unwashed. The topic of the piece matters not, what Ms. Toynbee discovers:

Politicians have been extraordinarily craven, failing in the leadership it will take to make real change.
No need to worry that this foray into reality will stick, Ms. Toynbee's next column will undoubtedly call for more politicians to engage in more governmentalism in order to fix this that and the other.

Actually we need not wait for the next column. In the very next sentence of the latest offering:

Look how bravely Barack Obama has confronted his climate-denying nation - and won, through courage and determination.
One suspects it will be a long four to eight years for Ms. Toynbee.

Europe's Promises to Africa Not Held

Great giver of lessons to America (and to the world) — on the subjects of greed, and racism, and helping third world countries, etc… — it turns out that the EU is hardly keeping its promises to Africa, writes Laurence Caramel in Le Monde.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Like we said....

Asked to choose the most pressing issues of the day, one may come up with: world economic turmoil, Gaza, Gazprom, ending true poverty/hunger, Irak, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, or even pirates.

Obviously you are not in Brussels. Truly serious issues of the day require truly serious action by truly serious individuals:

The European Union charged MicrosoftCorp. with new antitrust violations, reanimating a pursuit of the software giant that has already led to more than $2 billion in fines and has defined Europe's approach to policing big business.

In the charges, delivered to Microsoft Thursday, the EU accuses Microsoft of "tying" its Web browser, Internet Explorer, to its Windows operating system in a move that allegedly stifles competition from other makers of browsers.

The action, which revives issues at the heart of a U.S. antitrust case a decade ago, comes more than a year after Microsoft effectively threw in the towel on its long-lasting entanglement with EU regulators. The company agreed not to appeal a critical court ruling that it had lost and pledging better cooperation.

But the EU never signaled that it was finished. Indeed, just months after Microsoft's capitulation, the EU started two new investigations, one of which was focused on Internet Explorer. The lodging of the new charges indicates that the EU isn't satisfied with Microsoft's efforts to change its behavior.
Perhaps advice from three years ago could help again today:

Amortize all EU fines over the price of all products sold to businesses in Europe. Businesses will in turn pass these new costs along until they reach you the consumer in some form or fashion.

Amortize all EU fines over the price of all products sold to consumers in Europe. Cut out the middleman and go straight to the person who will be paying for any fines.

Amortize all EU fines over the price of all service provided to businesses using MSFT products in Europe. Businesses will in turn pass these new costs along until they reach you the consumer in some form or fashion.

Amortize all EU fines over the price of all service provided to consumers using MSFT products in Europe. Cut out the middleman and go straight to the person who will be paying for any fines.

Since the EU loves labeling laws, Microsoft should make sure each product package has a bright red Euro symbol and wording to the effect of "This Microsoft Product Now 10% More Costly - Courtesy of the EU Regulatory Apparatus!" Maybe even include a smiley face.

As this post was going to print a final choice came into play:

The Gazprom Option - Pull the plug on Europe. Ship no more Microsoft products and give commercial customers 90 days on service agreements. Walk away. Watch the teeth gnash and the tears flow.
The more things change....

Missing the point

Today's offering from Paul Krugman is the usual. However, this bit still shows even our Nobel Laureates do not quite grasp reality:

The fact is that the Bush administration’s abuses extended from environmental policy to voting rights. And most of the abuses involved using the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies.
The good doctor fails in Political Reality 101. Iron-clad rule #2 for politicians:

Use the power of government to reward political friends and punish political enemies
Iron-clad rule #1 is, of course:

Do or say anything to get elected and/or stay in office
The usual blather about "public service", normally near the bottom of the list, does come into play if it abets rules 1 and 2 above.

We really should expect more from our betters in the commentariat.

Keeping it Surreal

You can hear that Ode to Joy in every blow. It comes right after you get the lecture about the tolerant, equitable, and humanistic path European culture is blazing in the world.

Being a typical American racist/sexist/agist/etc. and anything else so many Europeans naturally assume all Americans to be, even if I could tell an English person from a Scot, I could care less.

I hope tyhey don't think that a cohabitant melange of English and Scots is somehow any more or less "diversity" as any other vague notion people have of it. People that look different just are. How could you hate or "celebrate" that? The fact that none of the objectives of people who demand that we "celebrate diversity" is the big fat flaw in the secular institutional narrative of Euroepan public culture: not only are the "virtues" not even real.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America… And the World

Taking cues from her book Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, Charlotte Iserbyt discusses
the new world order — disorder, excuse me…

Be sure and get a cash deposit up-front

Once bitten twice shy? We shall see:

It is a telling sign of how deeply the global economic crisis has cut: President Hugo Chávez, who initially reveled in describing the crash as proof of capitalism's flaws, is now quietly courting Western oil companies once again.

Until recently, buoyed by the surging price of oil, Chávez had pushed foreign oil companies here into a corner by nationalizing their oil fields, raiding their offices with the tax authorities and imposing a series of royalty increases.

But faced with the plunge in oil prices and a decline in domestic production, senior officials here have quietly begun soliciting some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks, including Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Total, in the hope of getting them to invest in Venezuela again.

Stupid Test of the Day

…zat onlee zose sillee Anglau-Saxonn French-bashèrez coud come op wiz…
Which French stereotype are you?
(Answers in the comments section, siouplait…)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Scandal Involving a Democrat Like Obama? Use a Title with Entirely Laconic Words

Can anyone imagine how a Bush (a Republican) choice for his cabinet had been reported in the MSM had he or she been involved in a scandal — as in blazing headlines on top of the first page?

But where Barack Obama (a Democrat) is concerned, all the mainstream media can do about the (non?)event, on the front page of the International Herald Tribune (the sister newspaper of the New York Times) of January 6, 2009, is put (towards the bottom of the page) a tiny paragraph linking to a story inside and entitled, laconically, President-elect loses choice for his cabinet.

There are so many double standards involved here, you don't know whether to laugh or to cry:
  • A basic rule about titles that every journalist student knows is: use the shortest word possible (not "assassinate" but "kill", not "president" but "Bush"). Here, they don't use "Obama" (or even a relatively short word like "president" — true, it's too early), but — to defuse criticism of the One? — a word three times as long (President-elect), with 14 to 15 characters.
  • The title totally ignores the charges against New Mexico's governor
  • while the titles inside the paper make Bill Richardson's departure sound (besides being voluntary) like nothing but a regrettable and destructive event (hurt, loss, etc…)

EU Delegation Harangues Vaclav Claus and Demands that Klaus Fly the Flag on Prague Castle

It was amid … tense atmosphere that a delegation from the European Parliament turned up at Prague Castle on December 5 to meet with President Klaus
writes John Rosenthal.
The castle is the official seat of the Czech presidency. One of the members of the delegation was the Green party member of parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit: the legendary “Dany the Red” of Paris May 68 fame who has, in the meanwhile, become a fervent promoter of all things European.

As the meeting opened, Cohn-Bendit brusquely placed a small EU flag on the President’s desk. The evidently pre-meditated gesture was a sarcastic allusion to Klaus’s “euroskepticism” and the absence of the European flag at Prague Castle. According to Czech public radio Radio Prague, Cohn-Bendit demanded that Klaus fly the flag on the castle. He proceeded then to harangue Klaus about his views on “climate change” and his lack of support for the “Reform Treaty.” (For two slightly differing accounts of the encounter, see here on the EU Referendum blog and here in The Telegraph.)

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, was also present at the meeting. Pöttering is reported to have backed Cohn-Bendit’s unusual démarche and to have himself demanded that Klaus fly the EU flag over Prague castle. The only flag that flies over Prague Castle is the Czech presidential standard pictured …

The Workshops Of Identity

There is a new blog in town (in the tinsel town of Hollywood, that is)… And in a recent Big Hollywood post, Bill Whittle had the following to say:
Militarily, the United States is not only unmatched on the world stage, but its relative strength is unmatched in history. And without question, this juggernaut is the most benign dominant military force the world has ever seen – and by a very large margin.

Betty Davis at the Hollywood Canteen Consider modern history, which many consider the time since the end of World War II. At the end of 1945, the only military force of any real substance remaining in the world was that of the Soviet Union, and while they had large numbers of troops and tanks, they had no navy and no strategic air force to speak of. The United States possessed, intact, the most awe-inspiring, battle-hardened navy the world had ever seen. It possessed sky-darkening clouds of B-29 strategic bombers. And it possessed, alone, the atomic bomb and the will to use it.

The United States of America could have planted its flag anywhere it wanted and no one would have been able to do a thing about it.

And what did we do with this arsenal? We scrapped the ships, drove steel bars through the wings of the priceless bombers, and began the largest de-militarization in the history of the world.

And in all of the years since then, despite what Michael Moore may want you to believe from the comfort of his editing room, the United States has deployed in response to aggression – not to cause it. Berlin, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland – all of it Soviet — that is to say Communist – Leftist – aggression. Ask a 17 year old indoctrinated with Hollywood’s portrayal of America as a world-striding bully who started the War in Korea, or Vietnam, or Nicaragua or any of these places, and I will bet you a Xbox 360 Elite that they will not reply that it was in fact worldwide socialism, but rather America. Tell them that communists started Korea and Vietnam and pretty much everything else and they will likely ask “what is a communist?” Actually, come to think of it, they probably do not even care enough to ask.

And for those who feel that such a once-noble America is dead and gone, let’s talk about the last time we heard about “Imperialism” and “a war for oil.” In 1991, after destroying the army that Saddam Hussein sent into Kuwait to steal, rape and murder, the United States sat alone and unchallenged on top of the richest oil field on the planet. What did it do? It put out the fires and went home.

Unlike today’s screenwriters who credit themselves as intellectual and creative giants, some of us remain humble enough to not only read history, but to actually understand it on some fundamental level. And those of us who actually know people in the military, who research weapons and tactics, supply and strategy, can tell you that a war for oil consists of placing an armored cordon around the remote oil fields, providing overwhelming air cover for armed convoys direct to port facilities, and then shipment via US tankers escorted by naval assets until out of the region.

None of this is happening, of course. What has happened is that we have spent 4000 and more lives building schools and hospitals and protecting a people against fellow Muslims who show day in and day out that they will kill as many children as they need to in order to terrorize their own people into submission.

That story, apparently, holds no interest for today’s Hollywood. …

The American university system is the envy of the world. Nowhere is there better science being done, and no where is there anything like the numbers of people receiving advanced scientific and engineering degrees.

But that is not all they are receiving. They are also receiving lethal doses of anti-Americanism and anti-Capitalism, main-lined directly and administered by morally blind charlatans like Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky – men who repeatedly acknowledge the “relativity of truth” and who distort and select facts so frequently and shamelessly that I will paraphrase Mark Twain by saying that the omission of the works of Chomsky and Zinn would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn’t a book in it.

And … Culturally it is America that the world watches, that the world listens to, that the world emulates and copies to the degree that suicide bombers wear Lakers t-shirts and the most virulent anti-American Euro kids look and dress and act and talk like kids from Compton or Detroit.

There was a time when America broadcast its virtues to the world. Films like It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, even Star Wars and Spider-man, were films about common, decent people – Americans, obviously, for we all know that even Luke Skywalker was an Iowa farm boy – who find themselves in dangerous and evil places and whose fundamental decency corrected this wrong in the world and restored a sense of hope and optimism, a sense that we are masters of our own destiny. It is an idea so powerful that even French intellectuals, who seemed then and seem today to be incapable of a single positive or upbeat thought, could watch in wonder and contempt as legions of their countrymen flocked to see them.

Those days have gone. No longer does Hollywood broadcast America’s mythic virtues to the world. No, the flow is reversed now. Now the great creative driving force of Hollywood is to present to America the anti-American hatred of the intellectuals watching in impotent fury out in the rest of the world.

Of the six or seven war movies made during the last few years, all – save one – were spectacular failures. Many were the reasons given for this, but perhaps, someday, while sitting in a hammock in the Cayman Islands, even a studio executive might be just intellectually aware enough to catch a flash of what is obvious to a pharmacist in Des Moines: that maybe, just perhaps, these films failed not because of war weariness or denial or rank stupidity on the part of the American people, but rather – are you sitting down? – that most of the country, unlike Hollywood, has sons and daughters and fathers and brothers in the military and know for first-hand fact that they are not rapists or murderers, hicks, dullards, losers, or broken and victimized children but rather the bravest, the most capable, the most decent and honorable and just plain competent people we have.

And perhaps, just perhaps, it might enter that navel-gazing, self-centered, dim little brain to reflect that the one war movie that did out-of-the-park business was the one that showed the Marines as the good guys, winning on the battlefield, defending their people and their culture against long odds and full of the heroism and sacrifice that used to be so commonplace in this city… even if the Marines in question wore loincloths and funny helmets and advanced with spears and round shields.

…Civilizations rise and fall. Barbarism is eternal. If you think the threat is not an existential one you have some reading to catch up on.

How long will the next darkness last? A few centuries? All of the readily available tools to build a new civilization – the ores, the coal and oil – all these are gone. Monks in stone cloisters cannot build photovoltaic cells. If this civilization falls, as have all others – from a lack of belief in itself – then civilization and medicine and science may very well never return.

Those are the stakes.

And how – pardon the profanity – how ironic is it that those libertines, those most determined to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and at no cost to themselves… how ironic, how pathetic, how tragic, how infuriating and indeed, how insane is it that they – they alone – now control the mythology and the message of the workshop of our identity?

Light Bulbs for Change

Q: How many Obama voters does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. Hoping that it would change is quite enough.

Q: How many autoworkers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 17 at GM, Ford and Chrysler; 1 at Honda, Hyundai and Toyota.

Q: How many Chicago pols does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: F--- you, what am I gettin' outta this?

Q: How many Democrats does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: It's burnt out on the Republican side, so we're not changing it.

Q: How many MSM journalists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: No need, Obama is the Light.

Etc… (thanks to Larwyn)

The Care and Feeding of Savages

Paris: thugs toss molotov cocktails at a Synagogue and a Jewish run business as though they were the IDF points out the extreme stupidity of what civilization is dealing with here. You can imagine their fellow travellers screaming false accusations as they have since 12 September 2001, that by virtue of their being from the near east or muslim or anything else they can dine on, that they're bing "treated like terrorists", all the while not discussing just how non-existent their rights would be in the Taliban's paradise.

Here the sypathizers of such a view are, those that will forever parade themselves as victims of a non-specific miasma, yet assert all manner of anger to look all butch for their bitches, destroying Jewish-owned businesses and a synagogue displaying the arrogance and thoughtlessness that they accuse others of harboring.

And this "movement" "merely protesting" and "showing solidarity" with the civilians (never mentioning those that aren't...) we are told is so broad and inclusive that Zapatero need not explain why he marched in one which was coordinated with other protests where children are marched along covered in fake blood. This from the left that claims to have a monopoly on caring for children.

Finally, a think tank in Europe has called it what it really is: child abuse. My translation below.


The ESISC interviewed the General Delegate for Childrens' Rights and the presidents of the Democratic Party of Belgium on the using of children in Gaza Solidarity Marches.

Claude Moniquet and Genovefa Etienne, president and vice president of the ESISC, wrote on Monday 12 January 2009 to Mr. Bernard YOUR Delegate General for Children's Rights in the French Community of Belgium, Mr. Elio di Rupo , chairman of the PS, Mrs Joëlle Milquet, president of HRC, Mr Didier Reynders, president of the Movement reformer and Isabelle Durant and Jean-Michel JAVAUX, ECOLO presidents to ask them to take a position on the exploitation of children in demonstrations of solidarity with Gaza.

11 January 2009, in fact, an important demonstration of solidarity with the Palestinian People was held in Brussels. It is to this day one of the major events of its kind held in Europe in recent weeks.

It is also the one that gave rise to the most shocking exploitation of children:

- From the start of the event, dozens of children were grouped at the top of event, supervised by adults and forced to repeat slogans it was clear to some of them they do not understand.

- Some children carried banners and placards containing explicit calls to hatred, while others waved the flags of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

- The order of the event has allowed a group of children put fire to an Israeli flag and then walked to the cries of "Allah hu Akhbar."

- In the final event, the children were forced to lie on the ground to run a macabre "die in" to symbolize child victims of Gaza.

The ESISC questioned the compatibility of this manipulation of children with Articles 19 and 29 (paragraphs B and C) of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and, more generally, with the values of democracy such as Belgium.
Part in parcel to all of this is the sort of violent ideas and trained-in intolerant hatred they will be exposed to. Again: from people who rationalize that they are the vicitms of intolerance, Mark Steyn has this to report from Montreal:
"Les Juifs sont nos chiens"

... or "The Jews are our dogs": The enthusiastic chant on the streets of Montreal, along with cries of "Hezbollah! Nasrallah!"

It's easy to think all this stuff is just about the Jew troublemakers, and who cares about them, right? But the thuggery on display in western cities is meant to intimidate not the despised Jew dogs but a more general audience — and it seems to be doing the job.
As though THEY were being put upon with respect to their religion. Further, he quotes the French Interior Minister illustrating plainly the inability of the "authorities" to make a plausible argument for keeping the abuse and mendacity in these protests under control.
Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said France has faced a "very clear increase" in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim attacks since Israel started an offensive against the militant group Hamas in Gaza on Dec. 27.

Would it be too much for a French reporter to ask Mme Alliot-Marie to provide an example of an "anti-Muslim attack" since December 27th? None seems to have been reported in the French press, unlike the daily attacks on synagogues, kosher butchers, schools, and individual Jews in Paris, Toulouse, Bordeaux, etc. So the Interior Minister would appear to be promoting a wholly false equivalence.
In the absence of any deep understanding of justice and morality, all there IS to resort to is "equivlence" - especially when you're too fearful of verbal abuse and reprisal yourself, which is the currency that the Jihadist world view deals in.

What chants supporting Hizballah have to do with symapthy for the suffering civilians of Gaza (combattants always seem to go unmentioned), is only clear on the level of those most easily led, suggested to, and abused themselves, as though they too were children programmed early on in life and initiated into a faith in somethign they can't see another side of. But wait. They're just that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hey, Wait: 24 More Hours!

Some fan of No Pasarán tells us you can actually vote from each computer you have access to until today (Tuesday, January 13th) at 22h00 GMT (that's 11 p.m. in Berlin, 5 p.m. in Boston, 2 p.m. in Vancouver)

French Government Confirms Hospitals' 10,000 Accidental Deaths Per Year

The number of 10,000 accidental deaths in French hospitals per year is confirmed by Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot. Now, come on, President Obama: what are we waiting for, instituting a similar system in the United States?!
Environ 10.000 personnes meurent chaque année à l'hôpital du fait de l'exercice de la médecine, a indiqué mardi la ministre de la Santé Roselyne Bachelot, confirmant un chiffre cité au cours du week-end.

Sign o' the times

Ask to choose the most pressing issues of the day, one may come up with: world economic turmoil, Gaza, Gazprom, ending true poverty/hunger, Irak, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, or even pirates.

Obviously you are not in Brussels. Truly serious issues of the day require truly serious action by truly serious individuals:

Mobile phone operators in the European Union may face a ban on charging customers for receiving voice mail messages outside their home state in the EU, turning the screw on industry revenues, a document showed on Monday.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has proposed capping the retail price of roamed text messages at 11 euro cents (15 U.S. cents) each from July compared with around 29 cents now.

She has also proposed a cap of 1 euro per megabyte on the wholesale price of data downloads such as using a phone or laptop to check emails or surf the Web outside a home state in the 27-nation EU.

Reding also wants existing price caps on roamed voice calls to be extended by three years to 2013.
Of course this will result in higher domestic mobile costs for the consumer and less competition. All designed to stick it to the man. Go ahead, pay more with less choice and enjoy the benefits of those unintended consequences.

If we are really lucky mobile providers will find roaming unprofitable enough to discontinue those services abroad. That'll show 'em who's boss.

Spoiling the plot

If you are reading this you are of unfortunately afflicted with the worst curse to ever afflict man-kind, being alive in the most unfair, inequitable, and doomed period of human existence, the 21st century. Proof can always be found here, here, here, here, and of course here.

Imagine your surprise at reading this:

Personal information from the (1911) census, which has been put online for the first time, paints a picture of a society that is in many ways, unrecognisable from modern Britain.

People did different jobs, lived considerably shorter lives and existed in a society that was vastly less equitable, according to 1911 Census - the oldest from which the original forms were kept.


In 1911, the leading occupational category for workers in England and Wales was domestic service, said Mark Pearsall, a records specialist and expert in family history at the National Archives.

Some 1.3 million people worked as domestic servants, he said, compared to a "tiny proportion" today. That was followed by agriculture (1.2 million) and coal mining (971,000).

Figures from a 2008 labour force survey showed that 1.6 million work as sales assistants and retail cashiers; 1.4 million as 'functional managers - such as those employed in sales and marketing, personnel and information technology - and 1.3 million in teaching. There are no longer enough coal miners to even register on the survey.

Almost 100 years ago, the richest one per cent of the population held around 70 per cent of the nation's wealth; today it is about 23 per cent.
The horrors of modern-day living in a western European country, why can't we all just go back to those simpler, happier times .....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Batty Britain

An octopus-shaped UFO was reported flying through the air hours before a wind turbine was destroyed in mysterious circumstances.
It's time for a nation wide house-to-house search - to

check their freezers for human heads.
UFO enthusiasts have described the incident as potentially one of the most significant encounters in years, and have called for the damaged parts to be tested to uncover the cause of the collision.

A more down-to-earth theory is that the turbine was damaged due to the build up of ice on the blades

Only a Few More Heures

You can vote from each computer you have access to until today (Monday, January 12th) at 22h00 GMT (that's 11 p.m. in Berlin, 5 p.m. in Boston, 2 p.m. in Vancouver)

More Proof of Europe's Intellectual (and Artistic) Superiority

Look at how France is represented, says RV, in the EU sculpture, the one that shows how superior European art is to that of the clueless Americans… (Incidentally, Britain has disappeared entirely from the "map" of Europe.)

In a related matter, check out the similarities between Italy and the rest of Europe (although it can hardly be denied that the EU is somewhat overrated, consider sending Bruno Bozzetto's video to your amici italiani all the same)…

Relativism meets Absolutism

From the local edition of Italy's La Repubblica we find a portrait of primitive communication and anger more akin to pre-renaissance Bologna than anything else:

In front of the symbol of Christianity so dear to Bologna, the Basilica di San Petronio, almost two thousand Muslims pray in an unreal silence interrupted only by the imam and the responses of the prostate faithful. These are the five, in Piazza Maggiore and the verses echo the prayer of the Maghreb (sunset) and then that of the dead "for the martyrs of Gaza." Before, during the short march started from the Piazza del Nettuno, chanting against Bush and Olmert, amid a scene of desperation to express anger against the Israeli bombardment which is bringing the Gaza Strip to its’ knees. Some protesters burned a flag emblazoned with the Star of David and then stepped on the ashen remains. Among the marchers were many Palestinians, Egyptians, and Moroccans who also came from Modena and Ferrara to lead the procession with dozens and dozens of children covered in red paint to symbolize their "brothers" killed by Israeli bombs.

"Free Palestine", "from Bologna to Gaza, resistance resistance", "God is with Gaza," as a slogan scanned litany while the demonstrators estimated at little more than five hundred people paraded around the town. The initiative, which was coordinated with demonstration in other cities in Italy, have joined some Bolognese groups (Crash and TPO), the Rdb-Cub and several members of the Communist Refoundation, as the team leader Roberto Sconciaforni. Atop a pickup truck moved slowly through the crowd, a boy raised a burning Israeli flag, the demonstrators shouted and waved, holding posters with pictures of dead and wounded Palestinians.

The vice president of the center of Islamic culture in Bologna, Daniele Parracino, sought to prevent the act to be carried out. "This is not the way to react” he said, if it’s a visceral reaction and not a thoughtful one. What we like is the sensitivity of many Italians who are supporting us, and who care about the right of everyone to live in peace."

Many Muslims were wearing kefiahs, and someone in the front row threw a shoe, recalling the act of and Iraqi journalist who threw his at U.S. President Bush. In front of the Prefecture, many lay on the pavement to symbolize the deads in Gaza. Other waved sheets of paper with the Star of David accompanied by the swastika, the Nazi symbol. Soon after, Parracino burst into tears when the news arrived of the bombing of a mosque. Not long thereafter all the protesters came to pray.
It's no wonder Parracino was concerned that people would see the emotionalism, chants, and flag-burning. The successful overtaking of the locals' minds require that they not be reminded of the kind of savage anger that leads to firing rocket propelled artillary at Israeli civilians. They might even get to the point where they realize, somehow, with no thanks to the press, that the Israeli reaction is in fact a reaction. They might speculate that some action might have taken place to cause a reaction, and that these protesters are just calling for a cease-fire only on the part of the Israelis.

In turns, they see conflict as though it should be a game of darts, where it's simply disproportional for one party to have more darts than the other. Otherwise when it's convenient a world of schoolhouse rules id imagined, and appeals to "social justice" is employed in the rationalization that a uniformed and militaristic Hamas should be able to shell civilians across its' borders.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

48 Hours More (More or Less) to Hit the Buttons…

You can vote once every 24 hours from each computer you have access to until Monday, January 12th at 22h00 GMT (that's 11 p.m. in Berlin, 5 p.m. in Boston, 2 p.m. in Vancouver)

America Needs a National Health Care System Like the Europeans'; After All, France's Medical Accidents Result in No More Than 10,000 Deaths Per Year

Why are American health care statistics so bad (relatively speaking), while the Europeans' national health care statistics are so good — leading to innumerable calls to imitate the Europeans and nationalize America's system? Well, it turns out that one reason is not that the Americans are clueless, reactionary, and backward, but that… the Europeans don't calculate their statistics as thoroughly as… (those clueless) Americans do. When one French doctor tried calculating his country's statistics, using the American model, it turned out that the system "only" produced the trifling number of… 10,000 deaths a year.
Selon [Philippe Juvin, chef des urgences à l'hôpital Beaujon, professeur d'anesthésie-réanimation (et secrétaire national de l'UMP chargé de la santé)], "au moins 10 000 personnes meurent chaque année à l'hôpital du fait de l'exercice de la médecine" et "de 300 000 à 500 000 événements indésirables graves se produisent chaque année" ; pour avancer ces chiffres, il se base sur "sur les chiffres américains" concernant ce même type d'accidents.