Saturday, April 11, 2009

Clueless America, Time to Take Some Lessons from Ultra-Brilliant Europeans

A Dutch TV jury has found Osama bin Laden not guilty of the Sept. 11 attacks
states The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Roxborough (dank u wel to our goed ould vrijnd Benjamin Duffy).
In the conclusion Wednesday night to the show "Devil's Advocate" on Dutch public broadcaster Nederland 2, the jury of two men and three women, along with the studio audience, ruled there was no proof bin Laden was the mastermind behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

…star defense attorney Gerard Spong standing up for some of the world's worst criminals … was able to convince the jury that bin Laden's connection to Sept. 11 was a product of "Western propaganda." The jury also ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove bin Laden was the real head of terrorist network al-Qaida. However, the jury did rule that bin Laden is a "terrorist who has misused Islam."
And who is this ultra-brilliant Spong fellow? Isn't somebody who is willing to stand up for some of the worst criminals — even if he is misguided — at least on the right track? No, because — in typical liberal invert-the-victims-and-the-criminals logic — (italics mine)
Spong has been … supporting legal action against anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders.
Would it be unfair to say that Osservatore's observation about one typical European would apply equally well to the self-important pieces of… I mean to the likes of Mijnheer Spong?
…he only rages against Americans … as he knows they are unlikely to strike physically!!! He'll go home and meditate as to why the Moslem "racaille" act the way they do and will find forgiveness……for they know not what they do.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wild West America, Time to Take Some Lessons from Europe…

America, it is time you leave your Wild West mentality behind you…

…Stop whining about personal defense (that's what you have police for, remember?) and learn to give up your firearms

…And get away from cars, already, and get some public transportation

…And, in general, look to France, and Europe, for an avant-garde culture of solidarity and mutual support

Agression dans un bus RATP - Watch more Funny Videos

(Thanks to John for alternative video at Eursoc…)

Update: Thanks to extensive police work, the Burberry-scarved victim seems to have been identified

Update 2: on't-day ell-tay nybody-ay inked-lay to the rench-Fay thorities-ay, ut-bay for the ideo-vay, ry-tay licking-cay on one of the other inks-lay bove-ay

When MSM Reporters Attribute Expert Opinions to "Experts", "Insiders", and "Observers", Whom Are They Usually Citing?…

"And — needless to say — we'll check out these rumors we have been discussing (publicly) before we publish them…"

New parody site?

We are always on the lookout for new satirical blogs and websites. As such a hat-tip to the Adam Smith blog for finding this gem. When not calling for state censorship of ideas they disagree with, this new blog offers up wonders such as this:

You can't be punished for a mental state, but you can be punished for actions taken as a result of it. It is a crime to strike (or kill) someone in anger. The anger itself confers no immunity, even if it was decisive in committing the act. So it is perfectly rational to criminalise acts committed out of greed, such as investing in a hedge fund, or buying a luxury yacht.
The delicious fun continues:

The main problem is a good legal definition. This is an initial list of criteria - acts which could be punished as "greed" within the European Union ...

entering into a contract of employment, for an annual salary of more then € 300,000

accepting a payment from an employer above basic salary (bonus), of more than € 10,000

purchase of a private residence. for more than three times the regional average price

purchase of a private residence, of over 1000 m2, for personal use,

purchase of a vehicle or vessel for personal use, for more than € 50,000

purchase of an item of clothing for personal use, for more than € 2000

investment of more than € 10,000 in any fund or scheme, promising a rate of return of more than 3% above the European Central Bank borrowing rate
We do enjoy the old tongue in cheek. However, if the new blog is serious it appears to be yet another in the puzzling new wave of "government is oppressing us so let's give government more power to stop oppressing us" genre.

Want to Wreck your Kids’ Lives? Become a Green, Socialist, or Trotskyite

Thanks, once again to our friend the Croydonian – smiter of fools and brigands, for finding another case of political exploitation of every feature of life in that “culture of debate and discussion”.

A scarcely less credible 29% of primary school pupils are finding it all too much too, by their parents reckoning.

Alas there is no comprehensive breakdown of the figures by age cohort, but the figures jump around when measured by region or political allegiance. 36% of Green and Socialist parents judge their offspring stressed, while 19% of Gaullists do. 44% of South Westerners think their children stressed compared to 19% in the eastern Parisian basin, however that is defined.

And what is piling on the pressure? Leading responses are exams and testing - 39%, fear for the future - 31%, a system unsuited to his/her needs - 30%.
Which is to say that being alive is their problem – (the parents’, that is.)

As good little post-modern zombies, the one fact that can’t be grasped, even by the parents is that they’re kids. They only people that can really “stress them out” are their parents and the political paedophiles trying to employ them as a heart-rending data point that, heaven forfend, might be used for something.

More real tax abuse

An important thing to remember is the key (unwritten) criteria used by the hyper-tax enthusiasts when defining "tax abuse":

the individual never pays enough in taxes to government
The phrase "tax abuse" is never uttered on the hallowed websites of the hyper-tax enthusiasts when governments are caught out shame-faced and wasting tax receipts already gang pressed out of the individual. In the mind of the hyper-tax enthusiasts there is never a wasted penny spent by government .... the only wasted penny is that which is left in the hands of the individual.

While railing against "secrecy jurisdictions" used to protect the pockets of the individual from the septic hand of statist-based governmentalism, the very same learned websites are themselves a hypocritical "secrecy jurisdiction" in never exhibiting the same nous when governmentalism fails ad nauseum. To wit, do not expect to read anything regarding real tax abuse from the statist websites regarding the latest governmental "bungle":

Millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money has been mistakenly used to fund the health service in Ireland, the Conservatives said yesterday.

Britain has been overpaying the Irish Government by an estimated €200 million (£180 million) a year in a deal between the two countries, prompting the Conservatives to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the "waste" of NHS funds.
Note, that is per year. If anything the above strengthens the argument for tax havens. Perhaps real tax havens where the money goes and truly "disappears". Given your druthers would you rather have that last penny kept in the hands that earned it, yours -or- pumped down the never-ending rat-hole of statist-based governmentalism?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

How is this different than Somali pirates? Besides the fact that the pirates are actually willing to work for the pay.

(An update even before the post below was posted, now the Belgians are getting in on the act by "bossnapping" a few Fiat types outside of Bruxelles.)

In this day of failing newspapers, column space is tight and reporters may not be able to tell the whole story. For instance, the latest "bossnapping" was over before it started:

The first Britons to be caught up in the spate of "bossnappings" in were today released by their staff after being held captive overnight.

Three British managers, including one woman, and a French male colleague were detained at the factory in Bellegarde in the foothills of the French Alps when negotiations over terms of the plant's closure broke down yesterday.

Workers blocked the entrance to the site, run by Scapa Group plc, with a truck, said the company's European finance director, Ian Bushell.

He described the hostage taking as a "non-aggressive action", adding that the unions had brought the four managers dinner.

Bushell said: "As of lunchtime today, the workers agreed to let them go to local government offices to have ongoing dialogue about the closure. Then they [the managers] will be able to drive away from the site."
"Non-agressive" as long as you are not the one being held. However, as with the previous instances of this latest justice sociale craze, no mention of arrests. Column space must indeed be tight.

Meanwhile you can have your say as to the pro/con of bossnapping here. One would hope the latest results of this poll are the results of a poorly worded question. However, given the source of the respondents this may be a hope too far.

(Yet another update on yet another new bossnapping, hard to keep them straight - 00:44 CET)

Irresistable! Special Private Che Guevara Sale

Lots of killer gifts in store! (Those jeans are to die for…)

The last thing the world needs is a weak America that does not take serious measures on behalf of itself or its allies; Rhetoric is not enough

Countries that depend on the United States for protection must be very worried right now
writes Jerry Philipson from Comox, British Columbia.
If the Americans are unable or unwilling to stop the North Koreans from threatening them with nuclear weapons, why should anyone else feel protected by the U.S.?

If there isn’t an immediate unambiguous response to the North Korean provocation, how can the Japanese, South Koreans, Israelis, Taiwanese or many others really believe in the Americans anymore?

The last thing the world needs is a weak America that does not take serious measures on behalf of itself or its allies. Rhetoric is not enough. The United States should see to it that North Korea’s nuclear capability is eliminated.

President Obama and his buddies consider themselves “the good guys” and they seek power over our lives and income for the best of reasons

President Obama and his buddies,
like presidential teams before them, says Devid Keene
consider themselves “the good guys” and they seek power over our lives and income for the best of reasons. They want to protect us all from a falling economy and are as convinced as anyone can be that they can make wiser decisions than individual Americans in order to accomplish their mission. They don’t want to simply “stimulate” a sluggish economy, but to take control of what Lenin once called the “commanding heights” of the economy, so that they can make the decisions they don’t believe we can be trusted to make wisely.

Rush Limbaugh told the CPAC attendees that while we all hope the economy will recover quickly, we should hope at the same time that President Obama’s plan to fundamentally change the nature of our free market economy will fail. The free market has enabled generations of Americans to make this nation the freest and most prosperous in human history. Rush was absolutely right.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Are we to Admire their every “Esthetic Achievement”?

One can only wonder what a French author/singer/dancer/man-about-town über-cineaste might possibly mean by “let those who never go to Bavaria speak of romance” in a movie quietly trying to revise the reasons for ending World War II in its’ own perceptually tilted “I hide my lunacy behind my art” kind of way.

Elsewhere, those parroting the same old “red flag/brown shirt” statement of being are working their way up from the bottom by starting in TV. Instead of Jews, they’ve added some variety in their obsessive, self-absorbed lives by getting worked up about KFC.
Le gouvernement américain adore “sous-traiter” ses sales combines par des sociétés “privées”. Comme en Iraq, comme partout. Kentucky Fried Chicken: antenne du Département d’Etat de mémère Clinton ?
As usual, it’s attributed to be a shadowy branch of the State Department and the CIA, and somehow involve capitalism (which otherwise doesn't exist anywhere else, somehow,) and is after them alone. Them - as individuals, just like the shark in Jaws 4 where "this time it's personal". Somehow, I guess this means that they feel like someone cares about them or something.
Cela dit pour ce cas precis, il y a une solution: expulsons KFC hors de france
Same old, same old. Really - get a nap. It might make you feel better.

Hostage Crisis Comes to the Smiling Apologizer-in-Chief Who Has Determined America Has No Enemies (That's so Passé)

You're right, there must be lots of differences between then and now. But still: When Americans get taken hostage, how come it always seems to be when — by sheer coincidence — a smiling, admit-our-own-mistakes-open-up-to-the-world-let's-be-friends-with-all Democrat is in the Oval Office?

You Think You've Seen Apologizing? Just Wait Until Barack Obama Heads for Japan…

How long before the Apologizer-in-Chief heads for Japan (aligato to Larwyn) and decides to pay a visit to Hiroshima?…

What Is the Stupidest French Movie That You've Ever Watched?

By popular demand…

Globally Superior Lucidity Watch

Berlin, 13 September 2001.

Goehler: “The historian against the psychologist…”

Benz: “They are, after all, also…”

And before Benz can finish his sentence, Goehler shouts:

“They are also phallic! I forgot to say that!” – whereupon uproarious laughter in the amphitheatre completes the humoristic ejaculatio praecox.
A gathering of German intellectuals react. Like disappointed radical feminists of a decade or two earlier. John Rosenthal translates Henryk Broder’s report.
The woman responds that they don’t have to be: “I’m not at all for killing people. But children are starving all over the world and I know where the people are to be found who are responsible for that.” The audience apparently knows too and shows its approval with applause.
So an evening of shared, whipped-up anger at “the house of world cultures” turned out, as everything would in any context the Berlin citizenry would think intellectual, to realistically be less enlightening as a random conversation at the International House of Pancakes.

It ALWAYS comes out smelling and sounding the same. The paucity of reason, facts, and diversity of thought never EVER change. Not now, not 20 years ago, and not likely any time in the distant future. As usual, naming something “the House of World Cultures” is a mask for the single most predictable feature of “iintellectual” European life – the only world culture they have any interest in is a narrow but influential part of their own sub-culture, and any of its’ temporary or ongoing obsessions.

¡No Pasarán! (sie werden nicht durchkommen)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

How Green is thy Envy?, Part LXVII

The left wing idiots at Marianne, in a desperate bid to define everything foreign in the same way the worst of French society always have (instead of letting others define themselves) has their moment of cynicism after the O-gasm. Except for the fact that they’re at heart a bunch of ignorant and insensitive boors pretending that their hyperventilating somehow hakes them look smart.

The comments about the cartoon are even more amusing. The readers take the various moments of anti-social destruction and marauding in France as some sort of natural outcome of the US election, or more to the point, the fact that they though about the subject. Among the delusional as well as the likes of the readers of Marianne2, thinking about a subject give rise to events in meatspace, I suppose.

We are helpless, please help

Acting out should never be encouraged in children:

Almost half of French people believe it is acceptable for workers facing layoffs to lock up their bosses, according to an opinion poll published on Tuesday.

Staff at French plants run by Sony, 3M and Caterpillar have held managers inside the factories overnight, in three separate incidents, to demand better layoff terms -- a new form of labor action dubbed "bossnapping" by the media.

A poll by the CSA institute for Le Parisien newspaper found 50 percent of French people surveyed disapproved of such acts, but 45 percent thought they were acceptable.

No Longer Is It the Case, Thanks to You-Know-Who, That Foreign Allies of Bush's America Have to Fear… Looking at Themselves in the Mirror (!!)

I think that it is important for Europe to understand that even though I'm now President and George Bush is no longer President, al Qaeda is still a threat
Good thing to know, Mr. President (thanks for the info)…

Prior to his visit to Prague and to Ankara, the Apologizer-in-Chief had passed through Strasbourg, where his handlers (does he actually have any?!) couldn't even get the translation of "good afternoon" right (if Bon après-midi ever existed, it went out of fashion, oh, about a couple of centuries ago) and where — uh, oh, America — he said that he was jealous about [government-funded] high-speed rail and the nice trains here.
Devant les étudiants de Strasbourg, il a parlé d'Abou Ghraib, l'ancienne prison américaine en Irak, un nom qui ne revient pas souvent dans le discours public américain, en essayant de les convaincre qu'ils peuvent désormais se joindre aux Etats-Unis sans avoir peur de "se regarder dans la glace".
Thanks to Barack Obama, says… Barack Obama (in Strasbourg, as recounted by Corine Lesnes and in other Le Monde articles), foreigners such as Europeans need no longer be afraid to… look at themselves in the mirror.

Control makes you free

No doubt readers of this blog are aware of the never-sated thirst of governmentalists and statists to control evermore the choices and decisions of the individual. Fortunately there sometimes (note, sometimes) are gems to report:

The local pub in Groningen has moved its bar and serving staff to a small storeroom, designating what was its main bar area as the smoking zone.

Following other countries in Europe that had banned smoking in bars and restaurants, last summer the government prohibited smoking in such establishment, citing the protection of employees from the dangers of passive smoking as one of the main motives. Cafes are allowed to create a sealed of smoking area, as long it is seperated from the bar, and staff works in a smoke free area.

Cafe De Balk has taken the anti-smoking law literally, seperating the staff from the smokers rather than the other way around. Klink said there is nothing in the law to prevent this.
That really is the problem for the controlling-class of governmentalists and statists. No matter how hard they work to help the masses there is always some horrid individual out there who sticks it back up them.

How dare they!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Queen Glared at Michelle Obama With a Black Look

America's mainstream media would have the Obama/Queen meeting occur in good humor and friendship and fun, with highly exaggerated acounts of a touch that, au contraire, was emblematic of the leaders' friendship.

Not if you believe the French mainstream media (usually as leftish, if not more, than their American cousins)… Corine Lesnes and Marc Roche write in Le Monde that
à la stupéfaction du protocole, Michelle a eu l'audace de lui poser la main sur le dos. Elle a eu droit à un regard assassin de la reine.
Only out of a desire for indulgence, the Queen blamed the faux pas on jet lag… (Meanwhile, Le Monde's readers were busy forgiving the faux pas, finding it cute — oui, vous comprenez, ce n'est pas George W Bush — and even testifying that they had already watched a totally uncontroversial video of the meeting three times…)

Pronunciation lesson

Given the silence from the Tax Justice Network regarding this topic:

Whistleblowing MPs lifted the lid last night on how Commons expenses have been fiddled, allowing them to obtain thousands of pounds without submitting a single receipt.

They revealed how MPs could claim up to £250 a month for cleaning and repairs to second homes, up to £400 a month for food and up to 350 miles a month in "constituency mileage" – regardless of the size of the constituency.

One MP told The Mail on Sunday: "Everyone knows that people have been making money simply by making up claims on a 'no questions asked' basis. You can put the money straight in your pocket."
It is rather obvious that when pronouncing the Tax Justice Network acronym ("T-J-N") the "J" is silent. Surely the poor dears have someone in the network who can perform research regarding the abuse of real tax monies by government officials.

Silence is thy name.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A clue

While this particular set of circumstances is playing out in the United States the theory applies to any country anywhere in which the government has/is injecting itself into the private sector under the guise of assistance.

Stuart Varney reports:

Here's a true story first reported by my Fox News colleague Andrew Napolitano (with the names and some details obscured to prevent retaliation). Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.

Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. That's politics talking, not economics.
So what is happening here? Mr. Varney provides a partial answer:

My answer: The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.
This is indeed true. But what else? An educated guess informs that those in control will want to make those banks holding TARP funds as absolutely uncomfortable as possible in a bid to get the very same banks to agree to any terms in order to disgorge the TARP funds. Mr. Varney rightly suggests these may come in the form of compensation caps, changed lending practices, etc. True, but this brings us back to our largely unanswered question from the other day:

What happens to the TARP funds once repaid by the banks to the government?
One can easily imagine a scenario under which the banks get the screws put to them so tightly that they will not only subscribe to the terms above but also the creation of some new, and permanent, set of governmental programmes which dole out the repaid TARP funds, or a big enough portion of them, for all kinds of social re-engineering programmes. The governmentalist mindset will think, "We created this new money, why waste it by simply closing out the TARP programme?"

The banks of course will line up squealing with praise for these new programmes and the need to use these repaid TARP funds for the "better social good". And why wouldn't they line up to do so, they will have repaid the TARP funds and removed the government substantially off their backs. The fact that some new social re-engineering programmes have been created and foisted onto the tax-payer in perpetuity makes no difference to the banks, they got rid of their problem. The same rationale goes for healthcare "reform" as well. Businesses with large healthcare costs will equally praise any governmentally run programme (paid for, of course, by the tax-payer) which removes a huge cost off their books. When you hear some phrase such as "social betterment" you should smell money.

So, asked again:

As financial institutions (and non) in the US begin to pay their TARP funds back, where will those funds go? These funds were conjured last year and injected into these firms, to be paid back with interest. Will the repaid funds merely zero out the conjured funds leaving only the interest bit to go into the general funding of the US government?

Or, will these repaid funds (in toto, principal and interest) become "real" and permanent funds going into the general funding of the US government and doled out forever?
Mr. Varney has graciously provided another clue. As a side note, shed no tears for the big business/banking community. For years that class has hedged their bets and only given lip-service to offering resistance to more and more government and higher and higher taxes. Perhaps now they are learning their lesson as to what happens when you do not stand up for free markets and capitalism in a legitimate and strong fashion.