Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's Easier to Curse Those Accursed Capitalists When Certain Facts Are (Conveniently) Ignored

As Barack Obama does his utmost to destroy the American (and thus, the world's) economy, Serguei applauds (while further denigrating capitalists) and Le Monde's readers say he isn't going far enough.

On the front page of the same issue, meanwhile, Plantu depicts foreign aid for Haiti after the earthquake in the form of a generic hospital ship and of the United Nations dove (in tears, like everyone else) heading for the stricken island (in the form of its flag).

What the Europeans ignore, of course, is that again, as usual, the with the most humanitarian help just happens to be (by entire coincidence, of course) the planet's foremost capitalist nation. Claudia Rosett:
In Haiti, the UN has been reporting that it has some personnel working on the ground, and is preparing to mobilize more. But the basic picture so far is that once again the American military is shouldering the chief burden of immediate relief.
One thing I will never forget about the 2004 tsunami in Asia is seeing news reports on French TV describing "the UN's" help and efforts for the victims, all the while, showing images of naval crews from the USS Abraham Lincoln and helicopter crews in the air sporting the US flag on their sleeves.

Europe's Superior Health Care System: Wasting an entire day at the hospital

From the All-the-news-that's-fit-to-print media, Sindya Bhanoo's New York Times story praising (or at least in awe of) the latest technological "breakthrough" and the latest socialist improvement of society — one in which patients get to see their doctors far less (but that's not necessary, of course, and it's all good for society, don't you see, for the common good) — and explaining in how many myriads of ways the United States would benefit from adopting the system (oh, what a headache those 50 different states are) or from adopting one like it:
Now, however, [Jens Danstrup] can go to the doctor without leaving home, using some simple medical devices and a notebook computer with a Web camera. He takes his own weekly medical readings, which are sent to his doctor via a Bluetooth connection and automatically logged into an electronic record.
The technical doodads from Denmark's health care system sound duly impressive:
[The 77-year-old retired architect] clipped an electronic pulse reader to his finger. It logged his reading and sent it to his doctor. Mr. Danstrup can also look up his personal health record online. His prescriptions are paperless — his doctors enters them electronically, and any pharmacy in the country can pull them up. Any time he wants to get in touch with his primary care doctor, he sends an e-mail message.

All of this is possible because Mr. Danstrup lives in Denmark, a country that began embracing electronic health records and other health care information technology a decade ago. Today, virtually all primary care physicians and nearly half of the hospitals use electronic records, and officials are trying to encourage more “telemedicine” projects … [After all, several studies] conclude that the Danish information system is the most efficient in the world, saving doctors an average of 50 minutes a day in administrative work
It all sounds impressive, and certainly I don't mean to say (or to suggest) it's uniformly bad, but you have to admit that it is especially impressive if you are someone who doesn't care for a personal encounter relationship with, not your local Domino's manager, but your, er, primary health provider. But I suppose that doesn't mean that the brave new world is all negative and who knows, I may be somewhat cynical. Still; are you ready for the money quote?
“You see how easy it is for me?” Mr. Danstrup said, sitting at his desk while video chatting with his nurse at Frederiksberg University Hospital, a mile away. “Instead of wasting the day at the hospital?”
Wasting the day at the hospital. Now isn't that the type of thing that we clueless conservatives have been warning about all along?! Instead, say the Europeans, we'll try to get you — insofar as possible — to save your time and the doctors', and stop seeing any doctors at all…
Now policy makers in the United States are studying Denmark’s system to see whether its successes can be replicated as part of the overhaul of the health system making its way through Congress. Dr. David Blumenthal, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School who was named by President Obama as national coordinator of health information technology, has said the United States is “well behind” Denmark and its Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden and Norway, in the use of electronic health records.
No wonder.

Time Teaches (an Audience) many Things

The story of central Europe is one of many things, but some themes emerge to yield meaning. A large part of the story of those who survived the adversity of it's trials has been one of having to wait to reveal your soul to others.

After decades of toying with the myriad of forms of belief that give unchallenging comforts and helps avoids being treated with a hatred of the traditions of those that brought us into this world, Nina Hagen has rejected that conformity. Love her or hate her, she, like many times before she leads us to believe that she has questioning the new conformity and has said publicly that she is a Christian. She has outed herself in clear defiance of the comfortable sensitivities of her generation.

"Nina tells how she, at an early age in an atheist environment, came upon a forbidden but fascinating being named God. She takes the reader with her on a wild road movie in which she has demonic experiences in an Indian ashram.

"On the way, she looked love, drugs and death in the eye. But above all, she encountered God."
While those that have always admired her are not surprised, she, again, teaches us on more thing. There is much about people that we think we know and don't, but merely assume.

She did it HER way. SHe always has.

Haiti Clinton for Massachusettes Coakley

Martha Coakley: "And without further ado…
I would like to present to you…"

Martha Coakley: "…the United Nations' Special Envoy to Haiti!"
[Cheers and applause]

Bill Clinton (sotto voce): "Darnit, lady: Couldn't you just have said
something like… 'the 42nd president of the United States'?!"

Bill Clinton (to himself): "Jeez Louise…
No wonder this douche needs us to bail 'er out…"

Bill Clinton: "Yes! It's true! I ought to be in
Port-au-Prince! Now! Right this minute! But!…"

Bill Clinton: "…Mark my words!
My esteemed colleague Martha Coakley is a Democrat! And
a Democrat always knows how to get his or her priorities straight!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Grand and Heroic U.N. Tradition Continues

Bush-hating purple helmeted peace gladiator Scott Ritter finally found something he was willing to call a weapon of mass destruction. Maybe he got the idea from having been stroked vigorously by the left for so long.

Otherwise, you have to catch him doing his best Shecky Green act in the Catskills to put his interpersonal skills into context. When his jokes flop, he offers them candy.

The Great Change That Has Taken Place Since Obama Took Over From Bush

(Merci à François)

I May Change the Low Opinion I Have of Frozen Drinks

Rev it, baby.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is Obama Flexing His Jeffersonian Muscle?

I disagree with calling Barack Obama (or Jimmy Carter) a Jeffersonian.

In spite of the outcome looking perhaps similar to what is happening in Obama's foreign affairs, Thomas Jefferson thought — he knew, I should say; he never lost sight of the fact — that America was/is "the world's best hope" (later alluded to, more famously, by Abraham Lincoln, as "the last best hope on Earth") — not because TJ held, mindlessly, that the "tribe" to which he belonged was/is better (as Obama put it derogatorily, declaring that the Brits and the Greeks probably think they are special too), but because a republic — any republic — is always better than any other (i.e., any lesser) government.

Obama's worldview is closer to the left's simplistic world view, that fairy tale where if we all simply come together and discuss our differences, everything will turn out alright… The only problem with that, of course, is that it is as much a fairy tale now as it was in the late 1970s or at Munich or any time in the intervening time or before that…

The Return of the Reeperbahn Donkey Show

As opposed to them wanting to see them published well in advance:

CIA Had Secret Plan to Kidnap German-Syrian Suspect in Hamburg
Behind the usual wooden SPONglish journalism, we discover that all they are doing it parroting a Vanity Fair article founded on merely thinking about it:
The CIA official said, “That would have been absolutely impossible in a country like Germany.”

But a CIA agent who was active in Germany at the time admitted to the magazine that the US secret services had considered kidnapping suspected al-Qaida activists in Germany and that this had been weighed up for Darkazanli.
Considered, you see, is more than enough for the bright lights of the press to tacitly root for an al Queda victory by rallying around a man wanted in Spain as well as the US, who took refuge in Germany. Unmentioned in the piece was that Darkazanli was linked to the Hamburg cell as a financier.
Shortly after the supposed assassination plot was made public, Christoph Ahlhaus, the interior minister of the city-state of Hamburg and a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), called upon the German government to demand an explanation from Washington. As a result, parliament's domestic affairs committee and the parliamentary control committee, which is in charge of monitoring Germany's intelligence services, will look at the accusations, as will the public prosecutor's office in Hamburg.
While that’s a long way to go on a mere press report, this business of Germany protecting terrorists from reprisal for their actions has a familiar ring to it. The DDR trained and sheltered Abu Daoud, planner of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre who headed a group calling itself Black September. In reality they were Fatah men operating under the orders of Yassir Arafat.

The same goes for Abu Nidal, and the Libyan agents who carried out the Lockerbie - Pan Am 103 bombing and the La Belle Disco bombing and attempted to murder a US Diplomat posted to the DDR, even credentialling the terrorists as Diplomats.

Providing cover for the sake of a misplaced ideological grumbling is nothing new.

French Health Care? Faced With a Health System that Has Become Practically Incomprehensible, Individuals Feel Helpless

While the French health care system, among many others, continues to be praised to the heavens by America's élites, both for what it does, medically-wise, and for its alleged low costs, Le Monde publishes a report on the top part of its front page called What Is the True Cost of Health in France? (Quel est le coût réel de la santé en France?).

In other words, how can America's élites praise the French health system (based, supposedly, on reports from France) if the truth turns out to be that the French themselves do not know the cost (or the true cost) of health in their own country?!
Confronted with a health system that has become practically incomprehensible over the years, individuals feel helpless, especially when it comes to trying to figure out what the various health rates correspond to
writes Laetitia Clavreul in Le Monde. Incidentally (dentally — no pun intended), you know about the rumor about Frenchmen's allegedly nasty teeth? Well, it turns out that at least part of that can be explained by the fact that France's optimal, wonderful, heavenly, glorieux health system does not do much to cover dental (as well as optical) care.
Combien rembourse l'assurance-maladie pour tel acte médical ou tel type de consultation ? A quoi correspond ce forfait de 1 euro qui apparaît sur les relevés de remboursements ? Quels frais sont pris en charge par les mutuelles ?...

Confrontés à un système de soins devenu quasi incompréhensible au fil des années, les particuliers se disent souvent désarmés, notamment quand il s'agit de savoir à quoi correspondent les tarifs de santé. Avec la création, au 1er janvier, d'une nouvelle vignette de remboursement de médicaments, qui sera orange cette fois, et la hausse annoncée des cotisations des mutuelles de 5 %, la tâche ne devrait pas leur être simplifiée en 2010.

"Comprendre les tarifs de santé est désormais aussi complexe que comprendre sa facture de téléphone", observe Christian Saout, le président du Collectif interassociatif sur la santé (CISS), qui représente les patients. M. Saout regrette que, contrairement aux télécommunications, il n'existe pas dans le secteur de la santé d'agence de régulation.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Imperial Japanese Army was every bit as evil as the Nazi SS, and more lethal

More on the Hiroshima era, from Dave (and RWE — thanks to Larwyn):
For those who missed it the first time around: In 1945, “defeated” Japan had seven atomic bomb factories ready to go, lacking only fissionable material. When their IU 92 was sunk, delivery of the U235 fell to the German U234. I have seen U234 survivors interviewed on TV. They are to a man happy that their cargo did not get through.

“Battleground Atlantic” is the book to peruse on the submarine delivery plans. “Japan’s Secret War” details the science and technology of their nuke program.

Japan also had 8000-10000 combat-worthy aircraft stashed in various parts of their homeland. This does not include pure kamikaze planes. 3500 of the piston-engine variety were hidden at one unobserved airfield.

Their most probable course of action would have been to assault the blockading fleet with conventional kamikaze attacks and then mix a few nukes in. Then hit the landed troop concentrations with their version of the dirty bomb.

Any attacks on Honolulu, Los Angeles or San Francisco? Yes. Had aircraft strapped to submarines. Doubt if said aircraft would have had purely conventional weapons.

It was one close race and Enola Gay won by half a nose, no more.

Even after losing their U235, even after Hiroshima, even after Nagasaki, no more than half of the Japanese power elite were willing to give up the flight.

There was a coup attempt to prevent the Emperor’s surrender speech from being broadcast and instead replace it with the orders to begin final fanatical defense of homeland.

Coup failed only because a diverted flight of B29s passed over Tokyo and caused a blackout in the one 20-minute time frame where said blackout could prevent that coup.

This story is detailed in “The Final Mission” which is also a History Channel film.

Of the bombers, 48 took off. Every one of them had near misses and close calls on their way. And every one of them made it home with 192 R3350s quitting for lack of fuel as they taxied in.

What do YOU think kept those evil spirits from running wild that night and doing even more damage to the world?

What do I think? Divine Navigation.

He does help those who help themselves. And that is why we came through in good shape after all.

Marty joins in the discussion, as does Trent Telenko, twice:

The Imperial General Headquarters had planned to sequester the Emperor effective upon the British amphibious assault on southwestern Malaya, which the British planned for late September 1945.

That would also have been when the orders would have gone out to massacre all Allied POW’s, interned civilians, and any other Allied civilians Japanese forces could catch in China and all of Southeast Asia (Malaya, the Dutch East Indies, any Phillipine islands still held by the Japanese, etc.).

Check out the reference to Field Marshal Terauchi (CinC of the Japanese army group – Southern Group of Armies) in the index (page 573) of George Feifer’s Tennozan: The Battle of Okinawa and the Atomic Bomb.

Allied signals intelligence (MAGIC) intercepted and decoded the late July 1945 order from Imperial GHQ to Terauchi to prepare for this.

The Imperial Japanese Army was every bit as evil as the Nazi SS, and more lethal. They’d probably have killed at least an additional 50 million people, more than had died in all of World War Two to that point, before Allied armies could eliminate Japanese forces overseas.

The horror would not have stopped there. An estimated ONE THIRD of the Japanese people (25-30 million) would have died of starvation, disease, poison gas and conventional weapons during a prolonged ground conquest of Japan.


The Most Deadly Plan, Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen, Proceeding of the US Naval Institute, January 1998 edition, pp 79-81


“Gassing Japan”, Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen, MHQ: the Quarterly Journal of Military History, vol 10 no 1 (Autumn 1997), pp 38-43.

Allen and Polmar ran across references to a plan to gas Japan and put in a FOIA request. Eventually they got a copy of a document labeled “A Study of the Possible Use of Toxic Gas in Operation Olympic.” The word “Retaliatory” was PENCILED in between “possible” and “use.”

Apparently there were only five of these documents circulated during WW2. After the war in 1947, the document was requested by the Chemical Corps for historical study. In an attempt to “Redact” history, another document was issued to change all the copies to emphasis “Retaliatory” rather than the reality of the US planning to use it offensively in support of the invasion of Japan.

The “Retaliatory” plan called for US heavy bombers to drop 56,583 tons of gas in the 15 days before the invasion of Kyushu than another 23,935 tons every 30 days after that, and that was just the STRATEGIC bombing campaign.

Tactical air support was in addition to that.

The ground weapons would contribute and additional 1,400 tons of gas shells and there was 8,000 tons on invasion ships.

By way of reference, In shelling Okinawa, 126 4.2 inch mortars on US Navy landing craft fired 28,000 4.2 inch mortar shells in one hour. Since the 4.2 inch mortar shell was the primary gas weapon of the CWS, that represents 400 tons of shells with 98 tons of lethal gas.

At the time of the invasion, 144,762 tons of gas shell munitions were available to the USA for the invasion.

Another 9,356 tons would arrive every 30 days after the invasion.

Chemical Corps casualty estimates for this attack plan were 5 million dead with another 5 million casualties.

Ultimately, it looks like the plan was not approved, but prepared for by General Marshall, since the gas to implement the plan was sent to the Pacific in very scarce shipping space, likely as a back up to the A-bomb.

The US Army Chemical Warfare Service was planning using captured stocks of German chemical weapons and it had transported many of those stocks to the USA. It was in the process of placing many of those chemical agents in US weapons as the war ended.


According to Allen and Polmar, the June 18, 1945 meeting where Harry Truman was briefed on Operation Downfall, the over all plan to invade Japan, by Adm King, Gen Marshall and the rest of the Joint Chiefs was when the topic was broached.

We know now that the decision to drop the atomic bomb was made then, although the notes for the meeting only referred to “undisclosed topics.”

This was our backup to nuking Japan into surrender. If the A-bombs didn’t work, the US military wase going to gas the Japanese people from the air like bugs, and keep doing so until Japanese resistance ended or all the Japanese were dead.

Thank God for the atom bomb – killing 150,000 – 200,000 Japanese at Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved 75-80 million lives.

Notes on Propaganda

New EU Foreign ministry grand poobah, and former CND flunky campaigner Catherine Ashton, we are told was “getting tough” everyplace where it counts. Who’s getting the wood shampoo from the EU?

The EU's new foreign relations chief, Catherine Ashton, was hard on Iran but cautious on Israel and Russia in a lively hearing with MEPs on Monday (11 January).
Except she wasn’t getting tough with who she was “getting tough” with.
The three-hour-long event at the European Parliament in Brussels kicked off a series of 26 hearings with commission nominees that is to culminate in a plenary vote later this month on the new EU executive as a whole.
It’s different when you have to tell that to Medvedev Putin or Ahmedinejad, and not a plenary session of plenary sessionists summitting to plan a summit, to take place definitely some time in the indefinite future.

It is to be noted that this EU-3 “tough talk” routine with Iran has been going on for almost a decade, buying Iran enough time and cover to keep on truckin’!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

C Whose Name They Keep Misspelling…

Remember how, last summer, the Apologizer-in-Chief had dominated the news for what, two years, three? And that still wasn't enough to get them to spell his name right? (It was the same with Georges Bush and Condy Rice.)

Well, six months later, there doesn't seem to have been much improvement…
Les détracteurs les plus acharnes de Barak Obama au sein des Républicains, dans l'opposition, vont probablement répéter qu'il ne maitrise pas les questions de sécurité.

As if there was any Doubt

I tell them to stand in the corner. Michael Phillips equates middle-minded “pleeeeeeze-please, Universe, like me” leftism with being a child.

Today, I concluded that the new Leftism, which passes laws to control the behavior of ordinary citizens, what we eat, drink, smoke, wear, sit in, sit on, burn, put in the trash... etc are premised on the Left's desire to be goody-goody children.
With the added wrinkle of things like all of those women who blame their parents for their behavior well into adulthood, and men who act like feral children who were raised in a barn... somehow knowing that doing what their parents found normal (say, getting into your car to run an errand,) are conditioned into believing that they are being naughty, 37 year old children.
The Left has already filled our lives with a thousand laws, rules and suggestions for being goody-goody to satisfy the need of lefties to know what good behavior is expected of them.

To be goody-goody and legal: Don't smoke, wear a helmet, put on seat belts, drive a Prius, sort your garbage, shop at Whole Foods, eat local organic but not fish-farmed, send your kids to Waldorf schools, hate TV, love Al Gore, love Doonesbury, hate Bush, Cheney, Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, ride a bike, wear hiking boots, hate the sun, hate big corporations, drink bottled water, be pro-vegetarian etc...
The dichotomous nature of dramatic swings between good and bad, an apocalypse dangled in front of you for “behaving badly”, figures we are supposed to be thankful suffered for our enlightenment...

Is the mushy-middle-minded left not starting to resemble something it did so much to rebel against in its’ youth, except without the philosophical depth?

Cheeky imps or Cowering in Fear

A similar discussion has been taking place among Europe’s Libertarians (both of them), about the loss of much of the population’s capacity at moral reasoning in the light of merely living by an endless supply of rules in their stead. Rather accurately, the argument goes that living in fear of rules signifies a kind of emptiness of modern and post-modern life which largely reduces the need to reason enormously, even when it comes to decisions related to family life. That this century development in the developed world has amusingly drawn in the past the criticism by the former Communist to call Western populations “weak” and “unwilling to fight” particularly amusing since virtually ALL of public life under Communism was defined by the behavior of people fearful of crossing the line and defying authority.

One for the ages

Definitely a post to print, put up on the wall and re-visit from time-to-time:

In March 2000, Dr David Viner, then a member of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the body now being investigated over the notorious 'Warmergate' leaked emails, said that within a few years snowfall would become 'a very rare and exciting event' in Britain, and that 'children just aren't going to know what snow is'.

Now the head of a British Council programme with an annual £10 million budget that raises awareness of global warming among young people abroad, Dr Viner last week said he still stood by that prediction: 'We've had three weeks of relatively cold weather, and that doesn't change anything.

'This winter is just a little cooler than average, and I still think that snow will become an increasingly rare event.'
One wonders how much of that 10m per annum the good doctor would be willing to bet on his beliefs.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bread and Circuses for a Domestic Audience at Time of Economic Misery: In the Brave New EU, Old Impressions Dominate

If this, theoretically, is Week One of the rest of the European Union’s new life of unity, power and global impact, then it looks pretty much like the place that has struggled so long to demonstrate its relevance and leadership
intones John Vinocur.
For starters, old impressions predominate. … The first six months of a notionally re-minted E.U. risk being scrambled, rather than a demonstration of new cohesion and strength.

For one thing, the calendar hurts. In 2010, there are important elections in Britain, Germany and France. Voting involving the E.U.’s big players invariably means those countries taking a quasi leave of absence from immediate European concerns. …

Spain took over this agenda-setting, pacemaking role on Jan. 1.

In spite of joblessness at an E.U.-worst of 19.3 percent, a negative rating on its sovereign debt, and a deficit close to 11 percent, Spain, no kidding, is supposed to provide impetus for a new 10-year E.U. growth strategy in time for an inaugural meeting in Valencia at the end of March.

…Madrid, as boss on its own turf, has set up a series of summits — E.U.-Balkans, E.U.-Morocco, E.U.-Latin America, a Mediterranean Union meeting, and possibly a Middle East conference — that look a lot like bread and circuses for a domestic audience at time of economic misery.

According to reports from Madrid, one of Mr. Zapatero’s biggest cheerleaders, Leire Pajin, is even talking about this semester’s routine E.U.-United States summit meeting (usually an hour’s chat, a joint declaration and lunch) as an event of “planetary” significance between “two progressive forces from both sides of the Atlantic.”

Their Own Private Idaho

At yet another fake, loony, long desiccated transnational meal-ticket so loved by Euro-polity we make an interesting discovery. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) will be chaired by rotating head-cheese of the cheese board, Kasakhstan.

Human Rights Watch, another one of those things loved by Euro-polity, find the place to have an atmosphere of quiet repression. Quiet repression and self-important international bureaucracies – it’s a continental wet dream if there ever was one.

Slated to become the OSCE chairman in 2010, Kazakhstan will join the leading trio in 2009 already. It follows that it has just under a year to launch certain changes indicating that the Kazakh leadership means to keep its promises to Europe. As it turned out at the meeting in Brussels, however, the EU is upset by Kazakhstan's idleness these last two months or so. Kajegeldin informed Ferrero-Waldner that everything actually depends on President Nursultan Nazarbayev who only has to make his will known to have the tame parliament adopt all necessary amendments to the acting legislation.
So, as you see, a “tame parliament” is to be considered a good thing by Bruxellois trying to ram something through, not before they are forced to deal with post-soviet backwater public politics, but before they are embarrass themselves.
Kazakhstan's forthcoming chairmanship in the OSCE scheduled for 2010 compels Europe to focus attention on this Eurasian country, vast and rich in natural resources. Former (1994 to 1997) Prime Minister Akejan Kajegeldin, 55, remains one of the prime sources of data on Kazakhstan for European leaders. Kajegeldin aspired for presidency in the late 1990s, joined the Kazakh opposition, and found himself promptly sentenced to a decade behind the bars (in absentia).
Forget pandering for natural gas to Russians who like playing with the tap for fun and profit, this show is even better. Going hat in hand to a president for life for some kind of special access, only to get kicked in the head by the Russians lider maximo again.

You want it? You got it!

For all you "food miles" types, quit yer bitching:

Britons have been warned to brace themselves for an increase in food prices as plunging temperatures leave farmers unable to harvest vegetables and hauliers struggle to distribute fresh produce.

Concerns have now switched to food supply. Sub-zero temperatures have made it impossible to extract some vegetables from the ground. Producers of brussels sprouts and cabbages are all reporting problems with harvesting. Cauliflowers are said to have turned to "mush" in the sustained frost, with the result that only imported ones are available – at more than £2 each.