Saturday, February 21, 2009

We’re On a Road to Nowhere

In an effort to be singularly bilateral and neither sovereign or multilateral, the European directors of the Galileo geo-location satellite array made a quick and dirty deal with the Chinese government to offset a small percentage of their cost. Low and behold, they have been double crossed.

To appreciate what turns out to be a huge irony, we have to go back to 2001 when the Galileo system was in its early stages of going nowhere, and the US started raising the alarm about possible interference with the established US GPS system.

[ ... ]

Meanwhile, also to the consternation of the Americans, the euroweenies were doing a separate deal with the Chinese, bringing them on board as "development partners" for Galileo, with the very real risk that they would exploit the technology for military purposes.
The odds are out there that if they have a data protocol and an overlapping frequency problem, there will be times in the day that the “smart” Galileo system will be catatonic, even in Europe when a Chinese or Russian geo-location satellite is passing overhead in low earth orbit.
In setting up their system, Chinese representatives have informally resolved with the US potential problems with co-ordination of frequencies. Recognising the status of GPS as a "legacy" system with a prior claim to its frequencies, China is prepared to respect the status quo and not interfere.

Not so with the euroweenies, however, where compatibility issues between Compass and Galileo most definitely have not been resolved. With China's schedule now edging ahead on the launch stakes, the inscrutable ones are taking the view that it has equal rights to pick its operating frequencies as do the Euros.

The result is that Compass could end up interfering with Galileo's high accuracy Public Regulated Service (PRS) signals. This is the part of the system which will be available on subscription and will also be used for military purposes - not that it's a military system, of course. But, with the Chinese system up and running, PRS will be pretty much useless for military purposes unless China allows access to the frequencies.

Not content with this, the Chinese are also seeking to build into their system some "product differentiators" - enhanced capabilities and unique signals and/or services – which will give them a competitive advantage over Galileo and GPS. With their eyes on the lucrative Asian applications market, that will leave the poor old Euros decidedly in the cold.
That quick buck came at a high price, papito. The ambulance using “smart” technology to get to the side of the highway barrier that your wreck is on, or looking for the police officer in distress will be operating at cost to a Chinese state corporation, and at the pleasure of their often Machiavellian leadership.
The ultimate joke – if your sense of humour takes you that way – is highlighted by Dinerman. The Galileo system was originally intended by Jacques Chirac to prevent Europe from becoming the "technological vassal" of the Americans. With the frequency conflict, it has now produced a situation where the EU is going to be subservient to the Chinese.

- The hat tip goes to Pat “the persuader” Patterson who notes “Maybe they can use it to navigate to the beach”. Rock on, Pat.

Alert the media....

....surely they will want to correct their previously published pronouncements:

A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.

The error, due to a problem called "sensor drift," began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That's when "puzzled readers" alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.
A free life-time subscription to NP for the first reader which spots an article citing the new information above as evidence pointing to more global warming not less.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ahem

In case you are new to NP, this should bring you up-to-date rather quickly:

Fealty praised

I wonder if the Irish government ever stops to think this might actually be part of the problem facing their economy:

THE GOVERNMENT has implemented 99 per cent of EU directives within the required timeframe, according to a new report by the European Commission.

The commission's internal market scoreboard shows just 15 EU directives, or 0.9 per cent of all directives, had not been transposed into national law on schedule. This is slightly below the 1 per cent EU average and represents the best score achieved by Ireland since the creation of the scoreboard.

"I am extremely pleased that we have secured our best score to date," said Dick Roche, Minister for European Affairs. "Our EU membership provides guaranteed access to the single market of almost 500 million people, across the 27 member states of the EU."

Did you know you are better off now than two years ago?


You may recall, not that long ago society was afflicted by a truly horrible condition, affluenza:

Proponents of the term consider the costs of prizing material wealth vastly outweigh the benefits. They claim those who become wealthy will find the economic success leaving them unfulfilled and hungry for more wealth. The condition is considered particularly acute amongst those with inherited wealth, who are often said to experience guilt, lack of purpose and dissolute behavior, as well as obsession with holding on to the wealth.
Now that economies are crashing, jobs are being axed and taxes are set to sky-rocket (all of which leaves the individual poorer) we should all be much much much more happier now, right?

Not only happier, healthier too:

Selfish capitalism causes mental illness by spawning materialism, or, as I put it, the affluenza virus - placing a high value on money, possessions, appearances (social and physical) and fame. English-speaking nations are more infected with the virus than mainland western European ones. Studies in many nations prove that people who strongly subscribe to virus values are at significantly greater risk of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and personality disorder.

Follow the logic? Selfish capitalism infects populations with affluenza; it fosters mental illness; English-speaking nations are more selfish capitalist - ergo, more prone to illness.
So, what is all the fuss about crashing economies? We are all being cured, don't you feel better now?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm But a Mortal, Alone in My Corner

Les deux compères de la Chanson du Dimanche présentent Seul dans mon coin, une chanson sur Barack O (merci à Tatiana)…


René des cendres de Babylone
Dernier prophète de l’Occident
Jure sur la Bible de Lincoln !
Et gare à ta gueule si tu nous mens !
Laissez-moi, vous devez
Vous tromper de personne
Car enfin
Je ne suis qu’un humain
Seul dans mon coin
Je me sens bien
Je ne sais pas pourquoi
C’est comme ça
C’est comme ça
Aaaaah, Aaaaah, Aaaaaaaaah
Si vous voulez je peux danser la valse
Le charleston ou bien même le tango
Vous obtenir une belle dédicace
De mon ami qui boit du Nespresso
Miracle dans la baie de l’Hudson !
Et dans la baie de Guantanamo !
De Philadelphie à Washington
Exhibe tes divins pectoraux !
Laissez-moi, vous devez
Vous tromper de personne
Car enfin
Je ne suis qu’un humain
Seul dans mon coin
Je me sens bien
Je ne sais pas pourquoi
C’est comme ça
C’est comme ça
Aaaaah, Aaaaah, Aaaaaaaaah
Barack O. m’a dit que la Terre est en danger !
Barack O. m’a dit attention ne pas gaspilller !
Barack O. m’a dit « mets toi sur un pied » !
Barack O. m’a dit que oui on pouvait !
Segolo m’a dit qu’elle avait tout dit à Barack O.
Et Martine Au. m’a dit la même chose que l’an dernier
Elle va contre attaquer Aïe aïe aïe ça va chauffer
Et je me suis endormi, le marchand de sable est passé

Governmental Zeitgeist Continued

Each epoch has its theme. Of course when it comes to governmentalism there is only one pan-epoch theme, in perpetuity. Now more than ever:

“billig will ich”

Expect shortly the pulsing eyeballs and shifting blood vessels on the foreheads of the European left to decry how armed bands are roaming the streets forcing people to eat McDo. Right next to imagining how “those people” are Anglo-Saxons, that’ll be the next best thing.

Dateline Deutscheland:

You know how people eat when they’re under stress sometimes? Well I guess that’s what’s going on here. Financial crisis hin oder her (here or there), McDonald’s, of all non-people, is planning to create another 2000 jobs in Germany this year.
Just when you though the average German couldn’t trade down any more, they manage to.

Other conspiracies by the evil lord Bush Obama: KFC is being barbarously thrust on Britons.
KFC to create 9,000 jobs in UK expansion drive
Resist! Stiff upper lip, lads!

What Would We Do Without Them Department: What Is It that Experts Have Now Discovered?!

Shocking

Info-Malbouffe Now Being Served on i>télé

Thanks to a news-junkie writing in, small-box discount news operation I>télé was caught out using the wrong footage too, running footage of rioting in Madagascar as rioting in Gaudeloupe. The Madagascar police working the riot don’t even have uniforms of the same color as the French National Police. No matter to the “journalists” in question – a riot is a riot, non? Our correspondent noted that it had the same stench as the omissions made during the Ramadan insurrection and the ‘05 episode where chants of "sarko, sale juif" were subtitled as "sarko, fasciste”.



Nuance schmuace! What’s 8000 miles between fellow travelers? To be truthful, there has been unrest in both island groups, but for the “Metropolitains,” I’m not sure that the distinction would matter. What matters is that while the concept of raging against the machine, or in this case, the water wheel might give old lefties a rare woody at their age, one of their rioting proletarian heroes blew away a union activist with a shotgun, and they can’t dope through the subtleties. One report goes that he was mistaken for a plain-clothes cop, but what seems far more likely is that as a “syndicaliste” the activist is supporting the lack of competitive anything that throttles France, but strangles the dependencies of the Outre-Mer. What we’re talking about here are virtual monopolies on consumer needs imposed by an association of their producers or middle-men through support pricing and price-fixing. “The Syndicate” is as apt a name as can be found, and it costs the consumer dearly, even more so the less you earn.

Le Parisien reported:
A man was shot dead near Pointe-à-Pitre, on Tuesday night. The victim, aged about fifty, was a organizer for the CGTG, a branch of the CGT union. He was returning from a meeting of the LKP, a class-action lawsuit against exploitation (LKP organization) when his vehicle came under fire. This activist was traveling with a friend in the town of Henri IV, a significant area of the district Chanzy at Pointe-à-Pitre. “This was not a stray bullet," said Pointe a Pitre Attorney Jean-Michel Priest. “The vehicle was targeted by three shots.”

Shots were fired, according to the magistrate with "a handgun or a 12 caliber pump-action hunting rifle" with round used for hunting wild boar. One of the bullets has seriously affected the trade unionist, Jacques Bino. A murder investigation has been opened.

Firefighters immediately notified by the person who accompanied the man, took almost three hours to reach the scene, having come under fire from young people who were in the blockade. Police reinforcements sent to the scene met with stone throwing and and shots fired”, said Nathalie Segaunes, special correspondent for the Parisien - Aujourd'hui en France. Three police and three policemen were slightly injured. Rescue and police could only record the death of the victim. Several arrests were made in the wake.
Of course there is some stock discourse to bring out, that of calling the action of the police “racist”:
Faced with this upsurge in violence, Elie Domotique, the leader of the lawsuit against exploitation "(LKP), leading the general strike that paralyzed the island and its economic activity since January 20, has launched an appeal for calm "in the evening. "Do not put your life in danger, do not put the lives of others in danger," he explained. "Do not respond to provocation," he said to the young, calling at the same time the prefect of police withdraw. In the morning on RTL, residents accused the police for conducting "racist" actions in facing the demonstrators. It was said that Guadeloupe is “treated with contempt".
So what this really boils down to is an economic riot against leftist dirigisme, but don’t ask the talking heads to elaborate on that, because it will devolve into a dissertation on gun control – right after the Parisian intelligentsia look up just what a pump-action shotgun is.
The situation had degenerated from the previous night. On Monday morning the LKP militants had set many blockades and the police intervened. Then in the evening and night gangs of youths had opposed the forces of order. Shops and businesses belonging to the group béke the descendants of white Martiniquan settler Bernard Hayot (GBH), including a Renault dealership, an auto repair shop fast, a tire store and a hypermarket Carrefour, had been looted.

LKP's claims include complaints at the cost of living in the French West Indies where almost everything is imported, while the unemployment rate is the highest in the EU and GDP per capita less than twice that of the metropolis
[Ed.: mainland France].
But then again a riot is a riot. Those activist sons of the pioneers, as well as what’s left of the 68ers are nonetheless hoping that the violence will infect European France as a means of taking power, just when the economy is at a stage when they are most likely to destroy it further with their theories, blackmail over it’s final destruction, and spirit of universal economic nationalization.

Scary Monsters

In surveying the latest as more and more governments spend more and more of your money (will you ever get a 'merci'?) in order to "save" those businesses and individuals who have demonstrated they are incapapble of making rational decisions with their own finances, one sees the hobby-horse crowd is still busy beavering away:

The global crackdown envisaged by Brown follows the Guardian's special series, the Tax Gap, which highlighted the ways a range of Britain's biggest companies have employed secretive tax arrangements to reduce their liability. HM Revenue & Customs estimates that the size of the tax gap, which has seen companies shift ownership of brands to offshore tax havens, could be anything between £3.7bn and £13bn.

The other members of the G7 - plus the 13 other slightly less affluent members who make up the G20 - lose similar amounts. This means that the world's main industrialised countries could be losing in excess of £100bn in tax revenues a year.
Big scary monster numbers which various governments can no doubt spend far better than you the individual. What happens when our old friend perspective makes an appearance? World GDP is estimated to be around 60 trillion USD in 2008. The G20 represents around 90% of world GDP, so around 54 trillion out of the aforementioned 60. Great, wonderful, how exciting. So, what does the mentioned £100bn "lost" taxes (145bn USD) actually mean in reality? .003%. That would be three-tenths of one percent of the total G20 GDP in 2008.

Of course this meaningless percentage which is "lost" (to who actually?) is not the reason for the socialist crowd to ride the tax-avoidance train. There are undoubtedly personal reasons for some hard-left individuals: hatred of those more successful, seeking "research" funding for their own "think" tanks, etc. However, the centralising tenet for most of the tax-avoidance is bad (yet oddly not illegal) crowd is the greater expansion of the state and government to control more and more the individual. Harmonisation of tax rules (negating comparitive advantages) among countries and increasing taxes levied (negating the individual evermore) are the true end games of this very sordid group of social-justice-fetishists.

More control over the individual, more funding for the state, more goodies to pass out to the properly aggrieved and approved.

For those keeping score in the UK, the high figure (£13bn) quoted in the original article represents .007% of total UK GDP in 2008. That would be seven-tenths of one percent. Put another way, the £13bn represents around 7.5 out of 365 days of total UK government spending. If the "lost" taxes are actually closer to the £3.7bn number, well ....... you get the picture (2.2 out of 365 days).

Quite the fuss over such a microscopic slice of the financial pie. Especially as none of this is illegal, in fact quite the opposite. As some would undoubtedly say, Gosh....

Update: Right on cue, lest you think this whole tempest in a teapot about tax avoidance is all about do-gooderism and individuals paying their "fair" share:

The practice would have to be that strict conditions would also need to be imposed on the recipient state. In the case of Ireland the 12.5% tax rate would have to go. Beggars can’t be choosers.
Considering the source one assumes the Irish rate of tax would have to go .... up.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

As Obama Is Compared to Lincoln, JFK, and FDR at the France 24 Studios During the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, Erik Svane Voices Some Skepticism


Erik Svane Voices Skepticism During Obama's TV Inauguration
envoyé par Hasteriks

As France 24's Natacha Butler and Robert Parsons cover the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, DC (from the station's Paris headquarters on January 20, 2009), Stephen Sawyer, Professor of History at the American University of Paris, joins them in comparing Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A skeptical Erik Svane replies that he wonders if they aren't being too optimistic…
Table of Contents (for quick reference):
  • 00:05 Natacha Butler, France 24 host
  • 00:30 Stephen Sawyer, American University of Paris
  • 02:25 Robert Parsons, France 24 correspondent
  • 04:44 Erik Svane, representing Republicans Abroad
  • 08:10 Stephen Sawyer, AUP
See Part II

Any time that a French president is faced with popular pressure, his response consists in hurling a stream of invective at the Anglo-Saxons

Any and every time that a French president is faced with popular pressure
writes Denis MacShane in Le Monde,
his response consists in hurling a stream of invective, as a form of reflex, at the Anglo-Saxons.

Russia Has Entered the PR Era

What with the Georgian war and the Ukrainian gas crisis, writes Piotr Smolar in Le Monde, Russia has, with the help of veteran West European journalists, entered the era of public relations…

Locale, Page A20

No screaming headlines, no co-ordinated editorials thundering damnation, just another aww-shucks moment buried deep in that paper of record, the New York Times:

Even as it pulls back from harsh interrogations and other sharply debated aspects of George W. Bush's "war on terrorism," the Obama administration is quietly signaling continued support for other major elements of its predecessor's approach to fighting Al Qaeda.

In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.'s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team's arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the "state secrets" doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials.

And earlier this month, after a British court cited pressure by the United States in declining to release information about the alleged torture of a detainee in American custody, the Obama administration issued a statement thanking the British government "for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information."

These and other signs suggest that the administration's changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared — prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies.

"I despair" writes a leftist; "Barack Obama seems to be no wiser or smarter than George W. Bush"

I despair.
Another believer in leftist fairy tales, George Fink of Southbank, Australia, laments that "President Barack Obama seems to be no wiser or smarter than George W. Bush" and, within one month of his chosen one's assuming the mantle of the White House, is already looking to… the next presidential election!
President Barack Obama seems to be no wiser or smarter than George W. Bush. What on earth is the aim of this seemingly mad exercise?

More troops in Afghanistan will not lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden; they will just kill more innocent Afghan people. The U.S. has no hope of subjugating the Afghans. The British and Russians failed — and so will the Americans. Perhaps it will be left to the next president to withdraw bloodied and dispirited U.S. troops in 2013.

Another interesting letter on the same page, by Paul Isaac, concerns the plight of Iraq's Assyrian Christians…

Hat in Hand

And foot in mouth.

The mayors of Mannheim and Heidelberg who visited Washington this week to rally support to retain US army bases in the southwestern German region say there’s a chance they might succeed.

Speaking on Friday after their return from Washington, the mayors said it would be not be easy to reverse a four-year decision by the US to close bases in the Rhine-Neckar region but added that there was no final word on the debate.

“The door isn’t closed yet,” said Peter Kurz, mayor of Mannheim.
As for Mannheim, the outliers of the are American bases are closing here and there anyway, and they won’t much miss many of the locals’ indulgence in hating Americans, even if they‘re more likely to know them than most Germans.
anti-Americanism in and of itself does not bother me at all IF it is an opinion derived from empirical facts. But so much of what I see in German media about America is factually inaccurate - from whatever motivation - that I want to probe any anti-American rationale before I consider it worthy of dialogue - or even agreeing with it. For example, a German woman I 'met' here who is married to an American in the Navy lives here in Virginia. She sent me a translation from her hometown newspaper in Mannheim that talked about American 'concentration camps for children'.
Too bad, so sad, “lord mayors”. I guess you’ll miss those American 'concentration camps for children' after all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A closer union to what exactly?

Two articles. A basic concept. One over-riding question, Why?

From the WSJ:

The financial crisis may have a silver lining for backers of European integration: It is spurring the Irish to support a European Union treaty that they vetoed only last year.

A reason for the shift, analysts say, is that Ireland's voters can see what happened to another island nation, Iceland, which suffered a currency collapse and effective bankruptcy as a result of the financial crisis.
Spiegel shows (in an excellent article) what exactly the Irish voters are queing up for more of:

It wasn't until December that EU heads of state and government had promised the industry "regulatory incentives" for broadband expansion. The companies now accuse the European Commission of thwarting such efforts. René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom, said heatedly: "It cannot be that the German government is setting up a major program for telecommunications infrastructure while Brussels thwarts it at the same time."

Unfortunately, though, it can. In fact, much of what is currently coming from the EU leadership is contradictory. Some things make sense and some are counterproductive, but inconsistency is everywhere. Breathlessness has become a stand-in for leadership.
So, what exactly is it you the Irish voter are seeking? What exactly will a "Yes" vote offer in terms of "solutions"? As the artiste formerly known as Elaib would no doubt ask, "What is the point of joining a sinking ship?"

Barack Obama's Greatest Heroics: Taking on, and Emasculating, the American Eagle

Two Le Monde cartoons, from the same date a couple of days after the 2009 inauguration, show Barack Obama taking on the American eagle — in a heroic fashion, needless to say.

As the eagle holds one poor innocent Iraqi in its breast and another in its talons (and as — a shoe-wearing — George W. Bush leaves the White House, saying "Mission accomplished"), Plantu has Barack Obama prying open the jail bars (the stripes from the American flag) to free a prisoner with a typically-looking innocent face.

In Serguei's nihilistic daily on page two, a naked man (L'Homme Nu) with no attachments walks the world, waxing philosophically day after day on various pseudo-philosophical matters. On this date, he asks a question to the day's special guest star:
  • Will you manage to rein it in, Barack?
  • I have brought a coach
Notice that in his daily wanderings, the all-knowing, wiser-than-thou nihilist (indubitably a nuanced European) has not managed to find anything needing to be broken in, from Putin's Russia and Iran's Mullahs to Sudan's killers and Venezuela's president-for-life (in fact, nothing but capitalism is usually a target for allegedly well-deserved anger). But (!) the American superpower, yes, there is something that needs to be tamed!

The White House and Congress don't worry because the people have been socially engineered to accept and defend our being their diaper pails

The White House and Congress are nothing short of a pissoir, and that which flows freely from same is being thrown in our faces by them
bellows Mychal Massie.
They don't worry because the people, in sufficient enough numbers, have been socially engineered to accept and defend our being their diaper pails.

However, for those who are as repulsed by said treatment as I am, I say it is time to unite and bring down the walls of entitlement and Epicureanism of this modern-day Sodom called government. It is time for us to channel our outrage in constructive ways to deconstruct a government that has long ceased to represent our best interests.

To one Very Special European, It Doesn’t Matter if NATO Matters

But then again, aren’t they all just so special? All their leaders and bright lights of the political and social class exemplary in their carriage and leadership? Worthy of admiration and all that? Isn’t that what one is supposed to say to get them to momentarily stop fidgeting in their chairs and behave like adults?

In large part to the European modern sensibility, any and all organizational mechanisms is about nothing more than every other one: a talking shop for a subsidized class of minions, and an opportunity for political types to grandstand pointlessly and at the expense of the reason the organization even exists.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened to boycott the April NATO summit celebrating the 60th anniversary of the organisation, unless he is allowed to choose where he sits at the conference table.

The president appears not to want to follow the established rules whereby seating is arranged by alphabetical order. Instead, he has insisted he should be seated next to NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, according to a report in German Spiegel Online.

Under a compromise deal, Mr Sarkozy would sit on Mr de Hoop Scheffer's right whenever TV cameras are in the room, while German chancellor Angela Merkel would sit to the left of the NATO chief.

Once the doors are closed to outsiders, however, the 26 leaders would switch chairs and be seated according to alphabetical order.
Never mind the history of child-like drama France has put NATO through in the past, the Elysee insists on looking like it’s most involved member. It isn’t – not by any stretch of the imagination.
In addition, the French leader's gaps in English mean he cannot participate in "small talk" with his non-French speaking counterparts during high-level meetings, and cannot freely give interviews to CNN or other English speaking media, unlike his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy or his predecessor Jacques Chirac.
It needs to be noted that Chirac’s English was laughable, and something he displayed dramatic silliness over, rather than just admit that the basic protocol of how ones uses a translator is held to.

Am I being too harsh when I say that the modern European sensibility wants everything to look and behave like the same type of talking shop as every other one that they dominate? Hardly. Even a think-tank dwelling almost entirely on NATO thinks it should be dwelling on global warming as dozens of others already do.

In case you’ve forgotten at this point, NATO is a mutual defense pact. If the Europeans didn’t in the past have a propensity to involve the rest of the world in their wars with one another, it wouldn’t have ever been necessary. On the other hand, if they could form a serious partnership of genuine mutual interest with one another half a century after the creation of the EU, they wouldn’t need it either and a simple, multilateral partnership where they actually did something for themselves would do.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Were Those Fired in “Self-defense” Too?

Malmö, Sweden – at a march in solidarity with Israelis, they bottle-rockets fired at them to cheers in an obvious homage to the Gazan who lob rocket-propelled artillery across the border to hit Israeli homes.



Of course those fair-minded European peacables called all too many things a peace protest. It’s the new code word for any kind of intolerance-based violence that leftists take quiet, passive-aggressive pleasure in.

You remember Malmö, don’t you? It’s the town where last month a synagogue was firebombed in solidarity with the peace movement, and where a public Christmas tree was set alight in solidarity with the peace movement. How much “peace” can one city take? Radical Unitarians are suspected as being behind each incident.

Rumors, conspiracy theories, group-think... Europe is again a battlefield of racism and bigotry with willing hosts from without and within.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Head for the Parental Rights website to sign the petition against the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child (thanks to Stephen Baskerville who was recently interviewed on the Dennis Prager show).

La formation médicale française est élitiste, violente et antiscientifique, ainsi que culpabilisante et humiliante pour les étudiants

Medical training in France is élitist and anti-scientific, writes Martin Winckler in Le Monde (quoting Marie Agostini's 10-part documentary, L'Ecole de médecine, among other sources), as well as violent, guilt-inducing, and humiliating for students. (Meanwhile Jean-Pierre Balligand and Martin Malvy mention the recent accidents that make Frenchmen believe that the health system is getting worse, while inducing the big institutions to put the blame on the presence of small hospitals…)

Those favoring a national health care system in America will be happy to learn that 1) professors in France teach lessons that are obsolete, that 2) they teach their students to scorn generalized medicine (in favor of specialization), that 3) rather than favoring potential "high-value healers", the system (which he says seems to date from the 19th century) rewards those who are most ready to submit to authority, and that 4) any criticism of the "hospital-university caste" is "condemned to silence — which (the absence of criticism) goes far, in turn, to explain why so many in America, élites and citizens, are enamored by Europe's "flawless" (or close to flawless) health care system, about which they have heard so few bugs.
Le recrutement des étudiants en médecine ne repose pas sur les aptitudes à soigner — qui peuvent être identifiées —, mais sur des critères de sélection datant du XIXe siècle. Par sa forme, son contenu et le traitement qu'il impose aux étudiant(e)s, le concours de première année est contraire à l'éthique et à la raison. Il élimine, de fait, des soignants potentiels de grande valeur et favorise les étudiants les plus susceptibles de se soumettre à l'autorité.
Wanting to put his theories into application, Martin Winckler, the author of La Maladie de Sachs, decided to open his own, private school of teaching, in order to circumvent the "institutions' archaic and reactionary framework". But that proved harder than (or as hard as) he imagined. He will start his school this month — in Montreal…

Tribute to the French Army

What Happens When You Go to Jail?

What happens when you go to (a French) jail? asks Alain Salles in Le Monde.

An imperfect weekend quiz

If you were asked to name the governmental body pushing second votes on an electorate which has recently and already pronounced upon a pressing issue of the day, would you answer:

A) Venezuela
B) European Union

If you were asked to name the governmental body kicking out duly elected representaives as a way to preserve "public order", would you answer:

A) Venezuela
B) United Kingdom

Of course there is another choice in both examples:

C) All of the above

Any true differences above -or- just a subtle matter of style?