Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Haunted Suitcase

One minute my suitcase was open, the next there was a strange noise, and — the lid was closed...

Then, all of a sudden, something inside stirred...

Scared witless, I slowly took one step ahead and another and another — until, sweating profusely and trembling, I stood right in front of the haunted piece of luggage...

A quick glance inside made the blood freeze in my veins: Inside was a wild and dangerous beast frothing menacingly at the jaws...

A few moments later, the wild and vicious beast leaped out of the suitcase, raced across the room like a bat out of hell, and darted into a dark corner, where it wailed like a cornered demon from the depths of the infernal regions...

Queen's Day Killer: Left? Right? Other?

Recall the maniac which decided to use the Netherland's Queen's Day festivities to go on a vehicle-borne killing spree earlier this year? The report seems to be in as it relates to motivation:

According to the report it is unlikely that T. acted out of a particular ideology or belief. Neither is there is any evidence that he harboured an extreme aversion to the royal family. But in 2004, T. apparently told a former employer that he "would be famous." He added as a joke that he was thinking of launching "an attack against the royal family".

It is plausible, the prosecutor's office said, that Karst T. didn't known that there would be a big crowd of people in his path. Although he honked his horn at the on-lookers, he didn't slow down at any point. He was going 112 km per hour when he hit the monument.
Who are we to say different in this case? What are notable, some may call them a "clue", are the dying words of Karst T:

According to the investigation Karst T. told military police at the scene: "Willem-Alexander is a fascist, he is a racist and I knew that the queen would come here."
Now, we have been around long enough to know exactly what type of modern-day individual bitterly clings to the knee-jerk/reactionary words "fascist" and "racist", even as they lay dying.

Any amateur Poirot in the audience want to make an educated guess as to motivations? It can be can be confusing.

Do bureaucrats dream of fully-filled tickboxes?*

Seriously, are there readable studies out there which chronicle the mindset of the governmentalist bureaucrat? No doubt those Americans waiting for free healthcare would say, "Can't happen here". Something a little closer to the mark of reality:

"Dreadful, neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel." Those are the words used by Claire Rayner, herself a former nurse, to describe the way many nurses today treat elderly patients. Introducing a report by the Patients Association last week, she described shocking standards of nursing care in hospitals up and down the country.

The stories are horrifying — old people neglected, lying in their own faeces and urine, hungry, thirsty and afraid, while nurses chat callously at the nursing station, indifferent to the suffering around them.

Since the report was published the Patients Association has been flooded with hundreds of calls of support. "I am sickened," Rayner said, "by what has happened to some parts of my profession, of which I was so proud." One can only agree
At what point do anecdotes evolve into data?

*With apologies to Philip K. Dick

Useful Idiots no longer Useful

“Socially aware” Swedes who sure know how to party

The “Reclaim Rosengård” street festival, which was conceived as a protest against the social conditions in Rosengård, didn’t exactly go according to organizers’ plans. The event was supposed to get underway at 8pm on Saturday, but after about 15 minutes the activists who had gathered to participate were pushed out by Rosengård residents.

The activists' floats with music were also barred from entering the predominantly immigrant neighbourhood.
Wouldn’t it be nice if meddling lefty social pyromaths who were “acting in the interest of the downtrodden”, actually listened to the “downtrodden”?
Instead, the activists gathered in front of a nearby petrol station where they threw stones, bottles, and burning objects at police cars.

The activists' stated goal was to force a reduction in a police presence in the are. But Abu Hadis, one of the men involved in pushing back the activists, said Rosengård residents were of a different view.
The grownups’ response? Thanks but no, thanks.
"We who live in Rosengård want the police out here; their presence has had a calming effect for us and improved the area's reputation," he told newspaper Aftonbladet.

"We don't need drunken upper class kids to come here and speak on our behalf against our will," he added.
That’s funny, because neither do we, especially the unthinking promoters of fascism that call themselves “anti-fascist protesters” who are so deluded that they think that even the Swedish Police are agents of Fascism.

Nothing new under the sun

Something to make Joe and Erik's weekend:

Friday, September 04, 2009

Subsidy v. Subsidy

Caption Contest

On effective PSA's.....

Say what you will about the content and approach but a pretty effective PSA in terms of getting your attention (note, probably not a work-safe/kiddie-safe video clip):

Note to EULEX

This from the EU Observer gets one thinking:

With just a month to go until Ireland's second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, a poll has shown that 46 percent support a yes vote, down eight points since May.

Published by the Irish Times, the TNS mrbi poll shows a rise of one point in those saying they plan to vote No to 29 percent with the Don't Knows registering at 25 percent, up seven points in comparison to a pre-summer survey.

The newspaper notes that most of the people who have left the Yes side have entered the Don't Know category rather than crossed to the No camp.

The drop in support for the treaty is reminiscent of the trend in the weeks ahead of the first referendum which resulted in a No in June last year. It is set to spur the government to place more focus on a strong and coherent campaign.
We in the west are always beavering about helping developing countries create and enhance their own democratic aims, free and fair elections. How about pulling a switcheroo and calling in a group of Afghan election consultants to "advise and monitor" the Irish? The Afghans seem to have the process down pat:

Official results in Afghanistan’s presidential election that were to have been issued today are likely to be delayed for weeks by investigations of voting fraud, Afghan officials and independent election monitors say.

While the Independent Election Commission said last month it would announce preliminary results from the Aug. 20 poll today, the earliest possible date for that now will be Sept. 7, said spokeswoman Marzia Siddiqi today.

A separate, U.N.-backed Electoral Complaints Commission will need at least two weeks, and perhaps longer, to process more than 2,600 reports of fraud, its chairman told reporters in Kabul yesterday.
The Afghans offer guaranteed results.

Deux Poids, Deux Mesures

The EU is trying to shake down Oracle and Sun, presumably to break up a merger on anti-monopoly grounds. Which would be fine if either company were based in the Eurozone, and they weren’t the same bunch of hypocrites who created Airbus as a monopoly (that intentionally steamrolled the smaller players like Fokker), or protect and prop up their “national champions”.

Imagine the Reverse

Consider the hyperventilation had the US government protested the Suez-GDF merger (36% of them still state-owned,) or the government subsidy to Alstom to prevent their acquisition by a non-French entity. Just imagine what the invective and accusations of imperialism would sound like.

The focus of the investigation is whether Oracle would gain too much power in the market for database software. Last year Sun bought a Swedish company called MySQL, which makes the leading open-source database program. Regulators are looking into whether Oracle, the leader in overall database software, might give MySQL's products short shrift in favor of its own products.
Short shrift, now being a crime against the state, requires that the any segment of a business with a European origin be preferred over others. THAT, as they see it, is an anti-trust issue, if you can believe that.

Inasmuch as one of them is a struggling hardware company, and the other a software company, the terminally stupid though of the day turned away from their own Dr. No-esque mustache twirling to the Emperor-Bokassa-like institutionalized theft of foreign owned property.
"The [European] Commission has an obligation to ensure that customers would not face reduced choice or higher prices as a result of this takeover," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.
What they want is to dislodge Java from Sun, the US based company that created it.

Pale green riders

Revisited and filed under, who knew?

Despite Europe's boom in solar and wind energy, CO2 emissions haven't been reduced by even a single gram. Now, even the Green Party is taking a new look at the issue....
An interesting article. Not to say renewable sources of energy are a bad idea in and of themselves. The problem being they are offered up by greendom as a panacea for all societal ills, from acne to circumcision woes to the death of the Loch Ness monster. Renewables should be sold for what they currently are, a compliment to existing sources of energy generation with a hopeful eye to the future when technology advances and lowers the prices of implementation.

If greendom would only sell greenery as an economic issue v. apocalyspe now, now, now, they would get so much more support from the great unwashed. Then again, if greedom's underlying motivations were actually that of improving the environment v. the destruction of liberty/free markets, we might not be having this particular discussion of tactics.

Douce France

Ze Bang-Bang that took place in Marseille is obviously the fault of American pop-culture and in some sort of way Georges Boosh.

Four masked men in a BMW fired yesterday, shortly after midnight on customers at a street snack bar in the Farinière neighborhood, wounding two teenagers of 14 and 17 years. The first was hit on the arms, the other received fragments of glass. The police have identified thirty rounds of 9 mm and 7.62 Kalashnikov.
We all know that since assault weapons are banned to the public, that this really could not have happened.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

UK Pre-financing bid falls short

Who ever thought that an un-workable, un-needed political scam based upon smoke, mirrors and headline-grubbing short-term non-thinking nothingism - would turn out to be - an un-workable, un-needed political scam based upon smoke, mirrors and headline-grubbing short-term non-thinking nothingism:

At the end of the G20 summit in April, the Prime Minister claimed to have built a "new consensus" among world leaders and was lauded for his role in securing the rescue deal. But a follow-up summit this month in Pittsburgh will take place against the backdrop of undelivered pledges and wrangles over how to curb bankers' pay.

Officials admit that almost $200 billion (£123 billion) pledged in credit facilities for the International Monetary Fund has yet to materialise. Most embarrassingly, the shortfall includes $75 billion due from the European Union. The Chancellor has warned Europe to set an example and do more to meet the target of $500 billion. Britain has agreed to lend up to $15 billion to poorer economies and is willing to provide up to $11 billion more as part of an EU package. So far, none of the extra credit has been called in by the IMF, although government insiders believe that it will be needed to prop up struggling economies before long.

Other European nations are resisting increasing their commitments to the IMF, demanding that China and India do more to shoulder the burden.
So much for the pre-financing. On to the next charade....

« Critiques d’____ »

More Europeans than anyone else I meet are likely to buy into this kind of self-serving nonsense to the point of having to defend their special kind of crazy, and defend it to the exact same adolescent lecturing that they get to a “point of no return”. At some point later on, there is usually some kind of mass murder and marching, followed by decades of pedantry about “ getting over things”, and all manner of other tortured rationalizations where the haters appeal for the shield of victimhood that characterizes the core of most European “public discourse”.

Et ils ont souillé d’excréments le drapeau français.
And it sounds awfully familiar too.

French Nationalists take this to the level of sneering elitism. To begin with, there is the “defense of freedom of speech” which only seems to real it’s head when it describes a mob’s desire to kick a selected population of civilians in the head, as one finds with a Swedish paper’s repetition of the decades-old self-serving allegation that Jews harvest Arabs’ organs.
No note was made at the uncanny resemblance that this had to the way Goebbels operated. The only difference now is that the press is pliant enough not to require any threats to tow a crypto-fascist’s line.

No matter how implausible, these things are always taken in whole in the fever swamps of the intellectual Wadi known as the EMEA, and it makes no difference that people are already quite certain that their children can’t be made sterilize by chewing gum.

American crazies aren’t that much better, but we have a habit of actually challenging them on their “facts” and evaluate the outcome of their form of moral reasoning, and they don’t appear to be anything like the ubiquitous passive-aggressive majority grumbling to itself in a dingy neighborhood bar in Europastan. To take a cue from the “eminent statesman” Carl Bild, it’s those flippanty accused who are at fault.
In Israel, the reaction was hysterical. The country is in danger of busting its guts in rage. Huge pressure has been exerted upon Swedish authorities to punish the offending author and to beg forgiveness. The Swedish Ambassador in Tel Aviv, a member of the influential Jewish family Bonnier who own the majority of Swedish newspapers, TV networks and cinemas, expressed her ‘shock and disapproval’. However, the Swedish government rejected her interference with the freedom of Press; the editors of Aftonbladet insisted on their right to say what they find fit and called for an international inquiry.

This proud stance lasted but a day or two. Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister, was discomfited by Israel’s intention to cancel his scheduled visit and had already written in a blog that “such articles can cause anti-Semitism, and instigation is against the Swedish law.”
Carl will go on one day quite soon to blame his hemorrhoids and seal-bark vocalization on the very existence of some group of people assumed world view some time soon, no doubt.

In other words, Carl “What Despot?” Bild is trying to tell us (again), is that “Daddy drinks because you cry”, as if the roles of adult and child were really the way he thought they are.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


No doubt, the statists among us will point to this story and proclaim, "This is the type of situation which calls for MORE government NOT less!"

The watchdog of the Securities and Exchange Commission has found that the agency consistently mishandled its investigations of Bernard Madoff's business, despite ample warnings of the multibillion-dollar fraud.
No doubt government will be far more competent in the handling of your healthcare. As always, you know the routine.

Get off of your Barstool and Report the Facts, Donkey

Facts, it seems, are optional at the NYT.

How Is That New Respect for Our Friends'n'Allies Working for You, BHO? (II)

Thailand refuses to extradite Viktor Bout, aka the Merchant of Death, to Barack Hussein Obama's America and Russia rejoices in the fact that Viktor Bout, aka the Lord of War, will not be extradited to Barack Hussein Obama's America… (In addition, not a single Frenchman thinks this snub to Barack Hussein Obama's America worthy to comment upon…)

The Peckerwood Culture that Thinks Itself Illuminating Humanity

What goes over with a bang en Europe?: the absurd realignment of racially and ethnically based archetypal roles, ones whose ignition value have long since faded, but still fit the population’s elementary, and quite frankly bigoted, imaginary notions.

The greatest warring power in today's world is the USA, whose occidental interventions go hand-in-hand with sex and crime scandals. This is the stuff of Peter Sellars' "Othello". In the hands of this American director, Shakespeare's Venetians, who speak the original text word for word, are Afro-Americans and Latinos, communicating in their dark blue uniforms over cell phones. The decision to send General Othello to Cyprus to defend the outpost against the Turks is reached via telephone conference. And Sellars has updated both skin colours and sexes to fit today's reality. The governor of Cyprus is a woman, Signora Montano, which in the course of this epic tale, leads to complications. She becomes a rape victim. On the surface, military life is dictated by prudery. It doesn't take much to topple inhibitions. A few beers to celebrate the defeat of the Turkish fleet – Lieutenant Cassio loses control and turns on his female comrade.
Note the real draw in this: Eurolanders get to imagine that the “great warring power”, of which the Jihad can’t be included due to the technicality of not having a seat at the UN, is warring with Europeans.

Somewhere in the Romper-room of their world-view, this makes the viewers, the inevitable “seminar participants”, and whoever gasbags on about it, some sort of intellectual titan. If anything marks the height of the part of the European world view that hasn’t changed in the centuries since Shakespeare’s time is the desire to avoid ones’ obvious insularity: that Danes, strange and far-away as they are were actually Black, much in the way that Jihad that the US has been shielding Europeans from (by fighting then away from their obvious launching point, the Schengen desert,) is somehow not near.

So much so, that the far-less-bigoted nature of American society that they can’t grasp must also present them with the puzzle of the type of ethnicities that they have simplistic revolutionary fantasies about, the “oppressed” in the form of Blacks and Latinos, are involved in American society in the way that minorities in any European society can only dream of.

Have no doubts about this: the idea that people’s personas are not driven entirely by the way they characterize your genetics or ethnicity is still an eye-opener to Europeans. It’s why they still find some puzzlement in finding the opinions of, say, a Jew criticizing Israel an amazement, as though everyone else in the world is so simple and programmed compared to them that they can only function and operate as imagined by the ‘enlightened’ in Europe imagining that they are constructing out of their elementary and insulting assumptions about people are actually ‘dialectics’. Thus, the childishness of the review in the original German from Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung, which smacks the shocked natives with the tag line:

Black is white, and white is Black

Multicultural, but taken at their word - Peter Sellars presents Shakespeare’s 'Othello'

It’s blindly obvious that the only thing these purveyors of the idea of their own cultural fluidity seem unable to understand is that other cultures are more than just a curiosity, they present the possibility of views of civilization and other people that might be different from theirs’. Thus we are to be enlightened and shocked, feel that moment of our own stupidity before their brilliance, to find that “Black is white, and white is Black.”

If this is where they’re starting from, they’ve got a long way to go, especially when it’s the consensus of the population that ‘other people, far away’ are the only ones who are vulgar and rotten enough to be bigoted.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Part of their Normal Recreation and Obsessive Self-Loathing

Jihadists unveil their amazing, force multiplying butt plug bomb.

Gladly the attack failed, otherwise Iraqi officials would freak out and demand that all visitors to government offices have their anuses probed before entry.

Not Evil Just Wrong

Once again dear friends

Unto the breach we go:

Spain's Socialist government is considering an increase in capital-gains tax as a result of the economic crisis but will not raise tax rates on earned income, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, prime minister, said on Monday.

Mr Zapatero and his cabinet have overseen a yawning budget deficit expected to reach 10 per cent of gross domestic product this year. They are now struggling to prepare a budget for 2010 in the face of falling revenues, higher state spending and resistance from the smaller political parties they need to pass laws in parliament.
Cuts in spending are never mentioned, contemplated or fathomed, even in the medium/long term. Of course, there is a bit of levity:

Mr Zapatero, who inherited a booming economy driven by construction and property development when he took office in 2004, has repeatedly told Spaniards that his governments have reduced the overall tax burden on the country and has said any increases will be "moderate and temporary".

Morons Compete to have their Concession Nationalized

South America’s “hope and change” affiliate, a man with a pea brain, no historical memory, and a taste for despotism, can’t even keep his lunacy under control as he suckers in some new tenderers.

Whose a Fundie now?

Rare that one agrees with the thrust of a New York Times editorial. From 2001:

Few would dispute the proposition by President Bush yesterday that religious groups can effectively provide social services for the poor. But Mr. Bush's ambitious proposal to channel federal funds to ''faith-based'' groups to serve social needs is a potentially dangerous erosion of the constitutionally shielded boundary between church and state. As the Supreme Court has observed, that boundary not only protects Americans from improper government support for religion. It guards religion itself from government encroachment and regulation.
Of course, the NYT editorial was undoubtedly propelled just as equally by anti-Bush sentiments as the separation of church and state argument (for the record, opposition in this corner relates to the religion not being tainted/infected by governmentalism route). One wonders if the NYT will be commenting on the latest advents related to officaldoms faith-based initiatives of today:

Six months after its rollout, Obama's office has dramatically shifted gears from the one that Bush started from scratch in 2001. Bush's office sought to "level the playing field" for faith-based and community groups seeking federal grants to deliver social services, like counseling drug addicts and mentoring at-risk youth. Obama, by contrast, has tasked his office with four broad policy goals: bringing faith groups into the recovery and fighting poverty, reducing demand for abortion, promoting responsible fatherhood, and facilitating global interfaith dialogue. "We're moving from a sole focus on leveling the playing field," says Joshua DuBois, the office's executive director, "to forming partnerships with faith-based and community groups to help solve specific policy challenges."

Yet some of the biggest questions surrounding Obama's office when it launched remain unanswered. The administration has not decided whether to allow religious groups to hire only fellow believers with federal funds, a hugely controversial issue. The outside faith advisory council, which will formulate proposals for achieving the office's policy goals—and for combating climate change and reforming the office itself—won't formalize its recommendations until next year. And the office is still devising metrics by which to measure its effectiveness, a subject of much debate during the Bush years.

Reinforcing its new policy role, Obama has brought his office under the purview of his Domestic Policy Council, delighting many faith leaders, particularly on the left. "The Bush office was totally disconnected from policy," says Wallis. "That White House was doing social policy that made poor people poorer, and the faith-based office would try to clean up the mess." The faith advisory council will submit first drafts of policy recommendations in October. "The council has access to experts, policymakers, and administrators [in the White House] at the levels we've asked for," says David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, who sits on the council.

Such access has upset some on the left, who say religious leaders shouldn't be shaping government policy, and some on the right, who say the work amounts to politically inspired religious outreach. "We would have gotten killed for doing that," says Jim Towey, who directed Bush's faith-based office and notes that religious outreach in the previous administration was handled by the White House Office of Public Liaison, which reported to Karl Rove. "It looks like a political office now."
The rare happening of the Left being onto something, yet their principles wilt in the face of an administration which is their own. Of course, coming from the ever-relativistic nature of the Left, this is not exactly a surprise. The only joy might be had from watching the hypocrisy stick in the old throats of the Left, take 'em where you find 'em. The faith of governmentalism must indeed be strong to allow competing faiths and fundies a place at the tax-payer trough.

As it relates to David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, we can't wait to see the first draft of policy recommendations which might be offered up on the subject of health care. Other than this banner found plastered on the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism website, it is rather hard to distinguish their political bent on the topic, mmmmhmmmm:

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Obama Doctrine: Abandoning our allies, emboldening our enemies, and diminishing our country

Yes, indeed, there is an Obama Doctrine, and it is clear to the naked eye what it is in the eyes of the Apologizer-in-Chief.
Should the United States indeed go that route [appeasement of Vladimir Putin's Russia], it will make plain to all the emerging "Obama Doctrine" with its three ominous characteristics
says Frank Gaffney:
abandoning our allies, emboldening our enemies and diminishing our country.

And then these Strange, Syphilitic Beings Showed Up

The Europeans have always sold their approach to “peacekeeping” (i.e. the part of war that comes after most of the risk is taken), and reconstruction, to be a sort of hallmark of their beneficence, characterized by enlightened and broad-ranging re-establishment of civility.

So one must wonder what it is that the government of Kosovo is thinking, in its’ unwillingness to honor the EU’s self-image, when the Kosovars objected to the idea of granting the Serbs a means by which to gather intelligence inside Kosovo and rig up reprisals under the supervision of the barely-there EULEX operation.

"We want the Republic of Kosovo to join the EU. But what we need are economic experts, doctors, scientists to help us develop. Not EU policemen to rule over us in a completely unaccountable way," Vetevendosja leader Albin Kurti told EUobserver.
Staffed in large part by non-EU hires, EULEX turned out to be little more than a rebranding operation, something largely concluded that the EU could present as a success of their eternally nascent state. The only problem is that Kosovo declared itself an independent state before the EULEXians arrived from planet EULAEXia, bringing with them their pedantry and title-mania: what they would have foamed on about needing support as a UN-branded operation named UNMIK which presented their lack of leadership, now has the prospect of scaring people because they are leading it.

Bjorn Lomborg puts the ball in the back of the net, again

Instead of France's "Stay'n'Play", Could American Paramedics' "Scoop'n'Run" Have Saved Princess Diana's Life?

Conspiracy theories, all unsubstantiated, abounded [12 years ago]. Had [Princess Diana] been assassinated by the royal family so her estranged husband, Prince Charles, could marry his longtime love Camilla Parker-Bowles? Did the British Secret Intelligence Service bump her off because she was pregnant with Egyptian Fayed's Muslim child?

But the most baffling question,
insists Susan Donaldson James (merci à Duncan), the most baffling question,
was whether doctors could have done more to prevent Diana, 36, from dying.

The horrific accident illustrated the difference between the French and U.S. approaches to emergency care — a relatively small piece of the French medical system, but deemed by some people to be the best in the world and often cited as a model for U.S. health care overhaul.

When rescue workers arrived, Diana was conscious, uttering, "My God" and "Leave me alone" to the swarming paparazzi. Although she had suffered internal injuries, she did not arrive at the Parisian hospital for 110 minutes — too late for the surgery that some speculated could have saved her life.

Diana's last hour — in cardiac arrest and bleeding to death — was spent in a mobile medical unit parked a few hundred yards from Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, where an emergency team followed French protocol and administered treatment at the scene of the accident and en route to the hospital.

At the time, many people surmised that had a U.S. ambulance responded, Diana would have been rushed to the nearest emergency room, where a full set of professionals and diagnostic equipment might have revived her.

Colloquially known as "scoop and run," the U.S. system is grounded in studies that show a trauma victim's best chance for survival is reaching the operating room within 10 minutes.

Under the French system, "stay and play," a fully equipped medical ambulance with a doctor stabilizes the patient and then directs him or her to a specialized hospital, even if it is miles away.

Car Crash Victims Served 24/7

"When a patient rolls into the American system, they have a level-one trauma center that runs 24/7, with every specialty and myriad resources for a patient in a car crash," said Dr. Preeti Jois-Bilowich, emergency room doctor at the University of Florida's Shands Hospital.…

Diana Delayed 110 Minutes Before Death

Diana didn't arrive until after 2 a.m. — 1 hour and 45 minutes after the crash — and underwent an emergency thoracotomy. Coroners pronounced her dead from hemorrhaging that resulted from major chest trauma and deceleration that caused a rupture of the left pulmonary vein.

Later, surgeons said that her heart had been displaced from the left to the right side of her chest.

In the 1998 book, "Death of a Princess," Time magazine reporters Thomas Sancton and Scott MacLeod were critical of the French system, arguing that Diana could have been saved in a hospital operating room. SAMU was so upset with the indictment, according to the authors, that they threatened to sue.

The French emergency care reflects the overall health attitudes of that nation — delivering basic primary care and health education to everyone will mean fewer expensive emergency room visits and hospitalizations later on.

Amid the health care debate here, some Americans are taking notice.

The French, at 10.7 percent of the gross domestic product, spend less than Americans do on health care at 16 percent of their GDP, according to 2009 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development health data. …

French Health Care Tops World

The World Health Organization recently rated the French system as the best in the world. By comparison, the United States rated 37th. The average life expectancy in France is 79.4 years, two years fewer than in the United States.

…In France, everyone is covered, regardless of their ability to pay, with an emphasis on primary care to prevent long-term illness.

"What we do is quite different," Rodwin said. "We take care of people, but not everyone, and we do it once they get very sick. We take diabetics with flare-ups and asthmatics in the emergency room, but we don't do primary care or health education as well for the poor.

"Our population is much sicker compared to France," according to Rodwin, whose research finds that Americans have the highest rates of avoidable hospitalizations — two and a half times higher than the French — for treatable conditions like pneumonia, asthma, diabetes and congestive heart failure.

That's according to a 2008 study from the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment. "The French have a term — solidarity," Rodwin said. "Since World War II, the system is grounded in the philosophy that everyone should have access to health care. That doesn't mean everyone is treated equally. There are those who are more educated or higher socio-economic groups that use more specialty care and probably have access to better quality care, but everyone has access to the minimum."

Mary, a freelance writer who did not want to use her last name, lives in Paris and is a "big booster of the French system." …

U.S. Emergency Rooms 'Tangle of Forms'

"I find the emergency room responses the most dramatic change from the U.S.," Mary said. "I've always had excellent health insurance in the U.S. and I've found every American emergency room visit a tangle as I fill out form after form and sign over my first born before anyone will even look at an injured or sick kid.

"Here, because everyone is insured, there's never any questions in hospitals that people will be treated, and treated quickly, because there's no worry someone's going to be stiffed with the bill."

Jois-Bilowich agreed that the French system is more cost-effective and that most people admitted to U.S. emergency rooms are treated and then released. But, she argues, the U.S. system of trauma care is superior.

There is no free lunch


People are far more likely to go hungry in an NHS hospital than in a prison, researchers from Bournemouth University said.

Russians have forgotten that the Soviet Union in 1939 was "a totalitarian state characterized by repression, deportation, and massive executions"

…If they ever knew it…

While condemning the Hitler-Stalin pact in connection with the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, writes Le Monde, Vladimir Putin says that France and Britain are mainly to blame (with their "Munich plot") and tells the Poles to let bygones be bygones.

Furthermore, Le Monde's Piotr Smolar brings into the discussion foreign elements to browbeat the Poles with, such as the fact that not all Poles participated in the resistance (the French should be experts in that matter) and — typically — the fact that certain Poles did participate in the murder of Jews…
La Pologne, toutefois, a ses propres dénis historiographiques : la majorité des Polonais était loin de la résistance active ; les massacres de juifs n'ont pas été que le fait des Allemands sur le territoire.
…while the (few) French readers who react tend — again (remember the dozens and dozens of them coming out to defend Russia in its more recent war with another tiny state) — to be "neutral" and to give the big brother and big bully the benefit of the doubt. But a couple of them have some choice words:
les géorgiens doivent etre rassuré de savoir que Staline est un ange de sagesse sans la nouvelle éthique russe!

Honte à Merkel, Sarkozy, Obama etc ...
In Russia, furthermore, we learn (from Marie Jégo's report from Moscow) that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was a stroke of genius; that Stalin's invasion of Poland from the East was to defend the Polish populations; that the Russian envoy to monitor human rights in France is a vocal admirer of Stalin; and that Russians seem to have forgotten that the Soviet Union in 1939 was "a totalitarian state characterized by repression, deportation, and massive executions" (if they ever knew it: 61% of Russians in a recent poll were not aware that the Kremlin invaded Poland a few weeks after the signing of the pact).
Soixante-dix ans après sa signature, le pacte germano-soviétique est en voie d'être réhabilité en Russie. Ces derniers mois, les médias officiels et les historiens proches du Kremlin se sont lancés dans une véritable croisade pour sa défense. Le pacte est décrit comme un "coup de génie" de Staline, l'artisan des purges, dont il est de bon ton désormais d'encenser la politique.

…Alors que Moscou cherche la réaffirmation du rôle-clé joué par l'Union soviétique dans la défaite du nazisme, la lente réhabilitation sur la scène intérieure de Staline et de sa politique interroge sur la volonté russe d'ouverture vers l'Europe. Nourries d'un tel terreau, les relations de la Russie avec ses voisins de l'Union européenne, la Pologne et les pays baltes (Lituanie, Lettonie, Estonie) risquent de s'envenimer davantage.

…la Russie de Poutine n'est pas celle de Gorbatchev. Désormais, l'intelligentsia "patriote", qui a pignon sur rue, défend le pacte.

…Plus inquiétant, la défense du pacte a donné lieu à une offensive verbale contre la Pologne. "La Pologne aurait pu éviter l'agression hitlérienne en acceptant de donner le corridor de Dantzig, en concluant un pacte de sécurité collective avec la France, la Grande-Bretagne et l'URSS", estime le jeune historien Pavel Daniline. L'entrée de l'armée soviétique dans ce pays, le 17 septembre 1939 "n'était pas une agression". "Il s'agissait de défendre la population d'un Etat qui avait cessé d'exister", conclut-il.

L'annexion soviétique est abondamment justifiée. "Les territoires situés dans la sphère d'influence de l'URSS faisaient partie de la Russie impériale", a déclaré, à la chaîne publique RTR, Natalia Narotchitskaïa, historienne, fervente admiratrice de Staline, envoyée par le Kremlin à Paris pour assurer le suivi du respect des droits de l'homme en France.

…Le débat en cours, souligne [Nikita Petrov, historien à l'ONG russe Memorial], laisse de côté un élément majeur : "Impossible de ne pas prendre en compte la physionomie de l'Union soviétique de 1939 : un Etat totalitaire caractérisé par les répressions, les déportations, les exécutions massives." C'est précisément ce que les Russes semblent avoir oublié.

Ont-ils jamais su ? "Les gens continuent à croire, comme à l'époque soviétique, que l'armée soviétique est entrée en Pologne en 1939 pour protéger les Polonais. La même chose est dite aujourd'hui de l'Abkhazie et de l'Ossétie du Sud (régions séparatistes de Géorgie, enjeu d'une guerre entre Moscou et Tbilissi en août 2008). Selon le discours officiel, l'armée russe est intervenue pour protéger les populations", affirme cet historien, spécialiste de la période stalinienne.

Selon un sondage récent du centre d'études de l'opinion Iouri Levada, 61 % des sondés ne sont pas au courant que les troupes soviétiques ont envahi la Pologne le 17 septembre 1939, quelques semaines après la signature du pacte.

Chicken S**ts of the Sea

Perhaps it is a matter of being dense or just missing the memo, but all radar continue to be up as one British better parrots yet another British better regarding that oil-for-fools programme bubbling up out of the Scottish moors:

Today Straw was forced back into the debate after the Sunday Times claimed Megrahi had been "set free for oil" – a reference to BP's £500m exploratory agreement with the Libyan regime shortly after the PTA. Echoing Lord Mandelson's complaint that the charge was implausible and offensive, Straw called it an "absurd confection". What is not in dispute is that London had been keen to normalise relations with Tripoli after Gaddafi's renunciation of nuclear ambitions in 2003 and that Salmond had opposed including Megrahi in the 2007 PTA.
One notes that nobody in UK officialdom has actually categorically denied any involvement what-so-ever on the part of the UK government. This bit turns it up a notch even further:

Labour officials in Edinburgh, from where cross-border correspondence appears to have been leaked, poured scorn on the idea of any deal over Megrahi's release.

"How could Tony Blair or Gordon Brown offer a deal to Gaddafi which would depend on getting Alex Salmond to do something?" an official said.
Ahhh, the old answering a question with a question bit, a sure sign that subterfuge is afoot. Keep in mind, for better or worse there could be legitimate geo-strat reasons for releasing such a prisoner, as foul as the idea/deed actually is to most individuals. However, given the lack of comment, the lack of categorical denial and the subterfuge surrounding this situation, it is readily apparent that what lies at the heart of this matter is a truth which reeks of some short-term, small-minded oil-grubbing deal. If this is not the case, why is there no great statesman coming to the fore to explain the great matters of state involved?

If the story continues to have legs we may get to witness a personal favourite in the denial game, some washed out pol thundering that "these allegations are false!" The routine being an allegation of X, Y and Z happening on a Tuesday, when in reality X, Y and Z actually did occur, but on a Wednesday.

Then again, when it comes to our govermental betters ..... you know the routine.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We've just weakened America's standing in a critical region of the world and let our allies down

It would appear that the White House
has decided against building a missile shield to protect Poland and the Czech Republic
writes Investor's Business Daily, concerning the Jimmy Carter admi — sorry, concerning the Barack Obama administration's latest brilliant move.
The reason? Russian opposition.
Now, perhaps it becomes more clear why the Apologizer-in-Chief has sent no current U.S. officials to Warsaw for the ceremony of the start of World War II
Now, if we want to build a defense system for friends in Europe, we'll have to place it in the Balkans, Israel or somewhere else. That is, if Russia approves.

This is a stark reversal of past policy and reneges on promises made by the current administration. Worse, it shows weakness. We got into a staredown with the Russian bear and we blinked.

…As for promises to our allies, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just this month said the U.S. would offer our allies a "defense umbrella" against threats from a possible Iranian nuclear weapon.

Now, all that high-sounding defense rhetoric is out the window.

…We've just weakened America's standing in a critical region of the world — Eastern Europe — and let our allies down. We've made them vulnerable, in ways that only we could, to Russia's growing military menace. Polish and Czech friends who had relied on us to stand firm and keep our word no doubt feel betrayed.

This diminishes our global influence. What smallish country will now take our word at face value when we promise to protect them?
In a parallel editorial, Investor's Business Daily heads halfway around the world to make the same stunning assessment of Jimmy Car— sorry, of Barack Obama's policies:
the U.S. acts as if good relations with Chavez is a high priority, but ties with allies Honduras and Colombia aren't.
What does all this tell us about the three characteristics of the Obama Doctrine?

Now That George W Bush Is Gone, America Is Finally Showing More Respect Towards Its Friends and Allies

The Apologizer-in-Chief's White House found nobody better to send to Warsaw for the seventieth anniversary of World War II, quips Hotair, than a man who last served as an American official 12 years ago (Dziękuję to Valerie)…

How Is That New Respect for Our Friends'n'Allies Working for You, Barack?

Now that the Apologizer-in-Chief has made tolerance and compassion his hallmark while reserving America's official criticism and principled opposition for none but America's true enemies — i.e., the internal ones, aka America's conservatives — a "compassionate" government minister in Scotland shows how much he enjoys the newfound open-mindedness…

And how about the being-nice-to-terrorists track, Barack, including giving the "war on terrorism" some new-fangled (and utterly forgettable) name? How is that working?!

Or, to quote the colorful language of 5ezpzez,
Moamar Yourdaffy was real quick to get in line and play nice when Bush started getting medevial on SoDamn Insane's ass. Now that Mr.Apology (obama) is the leader(ha ha) of the free(ha ha ha) world, Gadaffy obviously feels safe again to thumb his nose at the US & the rest of the World, including Scotland & the rest of the UK. MacAskill---the Neville Chamberlain of our time, is a National Shame to most right thinking Scots