Saturday, April 17, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Scandinavian

Regarding the Iceland's volcano eruption:
Unable to fly out of Oslo after an appearance on the popular Scandinavian talk show Skavlan on Thursday, John Cleese explained to Norway’s TV2 in a telephone interview that he has hailed a taxi and embarked on a 930-mile ride from Oslo to Brussels.

The Poles' "Obsession" with Katyn

Little seems to have changed in French attitudes regarding communist crimes since Wajda's Katyn came out a year ago and was immediately lambasted by Le Monde for having the audacity to compare Soviet crimes with those of the Nazis…

In Le Monde, again, we have one article lamenting the Poles' obsession with Katyn (simple question: why is the Poles' anger over 21,000 murders over a few weeks — a liquidation that was denied for decades — an "obsession" while that of leftists the world over — i.e., the self-same leftists who took the Kremlin's decade-long denials for granted — regarding Pinochet's 3,000 victims over 17 years nothing but respect for life and truth and the pursuit of justice?), while another, by Franck Nouchi, speaks of the mass massacre without once mentioning Soviet guilt.

That "Sovietolatrous" article describes the the DVD of the Wajda film which has just come out in France, noting that the French version features, among other bonuses, two 1943 propaganda films, one of German (Nazi) newsreels from the area (rightly) accusing the Soviets of the massacre, along with later Soviet newsreels counter-accusing the Germans thereof. Franck Nouchi's conclusion (mentioning the alleged Soviet "academicians" and "scientists" — without quotation marks — who came to "study" the forest, allegedly objectively, in order to pinpoint guilt): Only the trees of Katyn know what really happened…

As one Le Monde reader concludes, regarding "ce sinistre billet soviétolâtre":
Nouchi et « Le Monde » se remettront-ils un jour de la chute de l'URSS ?
Will Nouchi and Le Monde ever get over the collapse of the USSR?

What’s Old is Old Again

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The number of antisemitic incidents mushroomed in many western EU countries in 2009 due to an organised anti-Gaza war campaign, a new study says.
Alas, further furry fables from EUtopia, land of love, tolerance and world peace:
Looking at the number of violent incidents in absolute terms, the UK and France lead the EU league table, followed by Germany, Belgium and Austria. Relatively high numbers are also seen in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.
You’ll note that what triggers the attackers is not what any of the victims does, but what their identities are believed to represent to the attackers. In other words: the same old small-minded continental rubbish that they know “classically European” people can no longer do to one another in the same way they permit themselves to say and do to others, even to whole classes of people that they have always made straw-men of, and imaginary sources of their struggles of.

It’s only a matter of time until someone prominent starts to blame Greece’s economic problems on some generic concept they have of Jews. It will surely go unquestioned by Europeans who have likely never met a Jew too.
The institute said the rise was due to an organised campaign by far-left parties and Muslim communities, funded by "oil money" rather than due to a spontaneous reaction, although the report does not provide evidence for this accusation.

"The intensity and nature of the wave that began in January 2009 testified to pre-planned mobilisation among radicals from the left and among Muslim immigrant communities," it said.
The “oil money” part sounds a little sketchy, but isn’t that far fetched when you consider some of the opinions overheard made by near-Eastern business people. In fact one of the ttraits one finds with the younger ones, is a desire to be liked by the aboriginal Europeans, which frequently amounts to young, politically active and fairly extreme college students who coddle the old racial arguments out of mere ignorance of the past, being morally bereft when it comes to anyone other than their friends and families, and a youthful lack of life experience.

To single THEM out and characterize them, they are frequently seen wearing contrived looking whispy scarves, sweaters, no jackets (except for fake “army surplus” style jackets in the dead of winter,) and go strategically unkempt. Absent any air of dignity it’s just another uniform pulled out of history like so many others in their self-immolating continent’s past.

Remember, they’re better than you and I are. More smarter too!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Le Monde in Awe of Obama Bowing to China's Dictator

The Apologizer-in-Chief's bow to China's dictator Hu Jintao makes the front page of Le Monde…

Bookmarks switched at birth

Wait, did I click on the Onion or Spiegel......

15 Km From Paris: 70% of Families Living Below the Poverty Line and the Ghettoization of France Which Continues Unabated

Some 15 km from Paris, it is possible to witness government-managed housing which resembles the kind that exists (or that used to exist) in Russia's "Soviet-style" pigeon hole apartments. In Seine-Saint-Denis, world-renown for being the epicenter of the riots that erupted in the Fall of 2005, the mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois (30 000 inhabitants), Claude Dilain, warns against the ghettoization of French society.

In that part of France — the country, remember, that delights in giving clueless American clods lessons on racism and on poverty — immigrant families (70% of whom live below the poverty line) have to share kitchens and bathrooms, they have no lease, the heat doesn't work, windows are broken, the walls are blackened by the humidity, the elevators of 10-story buildings (with 1,500 units) don't work, and the staircases have been the object of arsonists…
Nouvelle visite de logement au 4e étage et rencontre hallucinante dans la cage d'escalier, noir complet, avec de nombreux voisins descendus ou montés pour l'occasion, venus crier une nouvelle fois leur désespoir, devant cette arrivée impromptue de représentants de la mairie, de l'Assemblée nationale et de l'Etat...

Des pères et mères de famille que nous connaissons bien à la mairie pour les avoir reçus à maintes reprises pendant l'hiver pour des problèmes récurrents de chauffage collectif et d'ascenseurs. Je sais hélas que nous les reverrons bientôt car ces problèmes ne sont pas résolus à ce jour. Il faudra évidemment y ajouter la cage d'escalier incendiée, qui attendra probablement des mois avant d'être rénovée, à moins que les habitants eux-mêmes ne décident de la repeindre par leurs propres moyens.

Cette scène, dans une cage d'escalier étroite, à la seule lumière des lampes de poche, prend des allures surréalistes. Des personnes arrivent, toujours plus nombreuses, du dessus, du dessous... Dans ce capharnaüm, une femme monte lentement et silencieusement l'escalier, elle est pliée en deux, sous le poids d'un caddie plein, qu'elle porte avec une lanière sur le front. Elle habite au 8e étage. Nous sommes à 15 km de Paris, est-ce possible ? Dehors, une trentaine de jeunes sont venus voir le maire et ces "politiques" qui ne "font rien".
The mayor concludes by saying that he is "ashamed of being the powerless representative of the French Republic."

It’s About the Uranium, Stupid

Actually the Nuclear Security Summit was an irrelevant farce, and obviously meant to cover for the ineffectual response to Nork and Iranian nukes. After all, who stays up nights worrying about the security of Canadian yellowcake? Most importantly, Iran and North Korea knew that in the kabuki of congratulating people for never having built nukes, or demilitarizing, as South Africa, Switzerland, and even peaced-out Sweden did, that they have little to worry about.

Whatever notice to the real bad guys it may have drawn, it’s made even less noteworthy by the presence of the disinvolved, the tangentially involved, and the likes of the European Union’s member state representatives, and China, whose industries are supplying the tools needed to build these nukes.

Nonetheless, the EU showed up seeking legitimacy, only to find Van Rompuy discovering:

But the summit was not a social function. Obama had business to take care of and had to make the most of the time allotted. So there was a clear-cut rationale behind the choice of bilateral meetings
Luckily, expectations are coming into line with the reality of Europe’s place in the world:
Van Rompuy gets handshake in Washington
Fully aware that he showed up for no good reason, De Standaard goes into full amnesiac whining mode:
Now we’ve got the proof: Herman Van Rompuy can’t stop the traffic in Washington DC. Worse still, at the nuclear security summit there on 12/13 April, he wasn’t even deemed worthy of a little tête-à-tête with Barack Obama, but just a handshake. Another occasion for Europeans to bewail their fate. First, Obama refused to attend the EU-US summit in Madrid this May. Then he did not invite a single EU representative to sign the START III treaty on nuclear disarmament last week in Prague. And now yet another slap in the face.
Are you kidding me? Sad as the whole affair was, Obama was actually trying to accomplish something in his nutty, adolescent-fantasy vision of whirled peas. What could old Herman Van possibly bring?is

Same old Schieße

You know the routine: the caring, nurturing brigades, they who are always longing for those by-gone pastoral days when everything in life was just oh so much more simpler and grand, past as present as unalterable destiny ............ well, unless it does not fit the preferred narrative:

Not much has survived intact from those East German days. But Konnopke sausages have. And, according to Ziervogel, they still taste the same as they did in East Germany 40 years ago.

Ziervogel lights another Marlboro. The stand -- which her father, Max, opened 80 years ago with a folding table and an awning -- has survived a great deal, including Hitler's Third Reich and the East German dictatorship. The current enemy it has to face is the growing number of politically correct Prenzlauer Berg inhabitants.

In fact, Ziervogel's stubbornness has convinced the city's urban redevelopment officials to enclose her stand like a museum exhibit. They will also spend €50,000 to outfit it with a high-pressure device to keep toxic fumes caused by the sandblasting of the subway supports from getting into the kitchen.

Other city officials just want to tear the stand down. As the city council member from the Green Party sees it, the whole affair is just "complete nonsense." But Ziervogel doesn't seem to care what he thinks.

Huzzah to the shopkeeper!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Foucault, Bourdieu, and Derrida figure at the top of the list of most-cited authors of books in America's humanities

As Duncan writes, the "Most cited authors of books in the humanities" list explains a lot: The table linked
lists those authors whose books, collectively, were cited 500 or more times in 2007. While representing a somewhat rough summary, these results provide some insight into the current trends in research in the social sciences and humanities: the listed authors serve as symbols for their ideas and approaches.

Barackey Obamouse

Diversity Training for Euroland

I’m sure it’s just because they’re feeling oppressed:

A large force of police officers has been sent to the Sandholm refugee and asylum centre where fighting has broken out among some 100 people, some of whom have been using knives.
Where do I get the feeling that there are third world police departments disposing of their crazies this way?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Promoting Peace and Pacifism, of Course

From a continental super-state with only 60-75.000 deployable troops, we see the role weapons and military equipment manufacturing has when you fancy yourself to be all “peaced out”: it’s a racket.

In a bizarre twist to the Greek debt crisis, France and Germany are pressing Greece to buy their gunboats and warplanes, even as they urge it to cut public spending and curb its deficit.

It also makes one reflect on the turbulence and complaints evident over the European complaints that EADS was unfairly eliminated from competition with Boeing when it came to a tanker contract for the US Air Force: when was the last time you heard of any foreign manufacturer being able to bid for a large scale contract for the French military? I mean, what is that justification that they always use when people ask why the Rafale even exists?
France is pushing to sell six frigates, 15 helicopters and up to 40 top-of-the-range Rafale fighter aircraft.

Greek and French officials said President Nicolas Sarkozy was personally involved and had broached the matter when Papandreou visited France last month to seek support in the financial crisis.


The Greeks were so sensitive to Sarkozy's concerns that they announced on the day Papandreou went to Paris that they would go ahead with buying six Fremm frigates worth 2.5 billion euros ($3.38 billion), despite their budget woes.

The ships are made by the state-controlled shipyard DCNS, which is a quarter owned by defense electronics group Thales and may have to lay workers off in the downturn.
Speaking of overpriced rubbish:
The Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation, is a more distant and vastly dearer prospect. There is no published price, but each costs over $100 million, plus weapons.

Germany is meanwhile pressing Athens to pay for a diesel-electric submarine from ThyssenKrupp, of which it refused to take delivery in 2006 because the craft listed during sea trials following a disputed refurbishment in Kiel.
Further from my bulging “bigoted idiot” file, comes this "daddy drinks because you cry" rationale behind why this should get shoved through right now:
Asked whether big European suppliers were using the crisis to press arms sales on Athens, he said: "This has always been the case with these countries. It is not because of the crisis, there is no link."
As in “it’s what those kind of people are like”, not what they say or do.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Fate of Baltazar Garzón Gives a Peek into the Rules that Europe's Self-Proclaimed Humanitarians Use When Pursuing Alleged War Criminals

Even if one thinks what Garzon did was illegal or even unwise, nobody here thinks what he did was evil in any real sense of the word, you would think
writes a commentator on the Volokh Conspiracy (gracias para el Señor Reynolds), regarding the indictment of Baltazar Garzón for exceeding his jurisdiction (in the Spanish judge's investigation of the alleged atrocities committed by Francisco Franco and his allies during the Spanish Civil War and under Franco's subsequent régime).

Nobody thinks it was evil (or appears to be so), but you should at least entertain the thought that it is/was evil, directly or indirectly. To a certain degree, it was/is certainly unjust.

As I wrote some years back, what we are involved with here are the same old double standards of leftists (American or foreign) going berserk over the slightest crime (or misdemeanor) attributed to the right while ignoring completely any crime — or litany of crimes — on the left.

Again and again, the truth eventually reveals how the sequels "of arrests, death, torture, and exile" are often worse under would-be leftist authoritarian régimes than under rightist ones. Stalin, of course, killed far more people than Hitler did, and a recent best-seller (Checas de Madrid by César Vidal) teaches that the Spanish Republicans ran a series of sinister detention centers patterned on the Soviet Checas, which savagely tortured and often slaughtered its prisoners, without the slightest hint of legality; the dead and disappeared in the province of Madrid alone were, in only a couple of years, almost four times as numerous as the victims over 17 years of none other than… Chile's Augusto Pinochet (almost 12,000 in Madrid versus some 3,000 in Chile).

In my book, La Bannière Étalée, I spell out the rules that seem to govern Europe's (self-proclaimed) human rights defenders and its valorous democracy activists for, first of all, seething with indignation and, second, for choosing the targets of these holier-than-thou humanitarians' international arrest warrants.
  • Be a U.S. leader: George W Bush. Donald Rumsfeld. Bill Clinton. George Bush the elder. Ronald Reagan. Be an American general. Or one of their soldiers (as recently as October 2005, a(nother) Spanish judge delivered an international arrest warrant against three American soldiers whose shots, in April 2003, had killed a Spanish cameraman in Baghdad);
  • Be a U.S. ally — say, a British prime minister or an Israeli leader, civilian or military;
  • Be a former dictator or one of his officers, usually rightist and if possible suffering from dementia or senility, and one who, for reasons good or ill, has been an ally of Washington (but the leading criterion is that the offender has to have been out of power for at least 10 years or so — see below).
By contrast, here are the people who, offhand, are not concerned by Europeans' passionate and principled search for "justice".
  • The general rule is, no European since the Second World War, nor any non-European dictator having sought refuge in Europe (Haiti's Baby Doc is still alive and well in his mansion on France's Riviera, thank you very much), but Baltasar Garzón's search for alleged criminals (albeit, again, rightist-only) from Spain's Civil War is one — obvious — exception to that rule. (For instance, the numerous Nazis who escaped to Spain's very own Costa Brava in the late 1940s do not seem to have had much to worry about in the following six decades…) Note that this European exception to the rule may be precisely the reason Judge Garzón is getting his comeuppance;
  • No dictator of the left (socialist, communist, etc), nor any enemy of Washington, wherever he is living and whether he is in power or not, nor any of the soldiers who have kept him in power;
  • And — last but not least — no strongman currently in power, wherever he is on the political spectrum (even if he is an ally of the Americans!). People who never had to worry very much (during their respective lifetimes) about Europe's human rights activists include Fidel Castro, Colonel Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and comrades Honecker (who ended up, safe and sound, in… Pinochet's Chile), Brezhnev, Stalin, and Mao.
So here are the conclusions we can draw:
  • The more a country is democratic (an allegedly false one or a democracy of any other type), the more it will be in the would-be cross-hairs of a European human rights activist;
  • the more a country is anti-democratic, the more it will be given leeway — as much leeway as possible (often with this type of sentence: "Well, we think that we ought to keep bridges open to such-and-such a leader or such-and-such a country").
  • Let's not even take into consideration the fact that Europe's desire for justice is entirely subject to the continent's need for commercial business activities. (That would be mean.)

Gordon Brown is an Oaf

ITV’s Tom Bradby noted something rather infantile about him:

But interviewing him is emotionally complicated. He doesn’t seem to understand that we are here to ask difficult questions and test his arguments by establishing contrary positions. He nearly always tells us we are wrong, both on and off camera, and that we have not done our research. He often gets angry, sometimes sulks and from time to time looks brutally hurt.
That is, once you get past this air he has about him that reminds one of an accountant with a secret life worn painfully on his face.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ripley’s Law

Schnitzel Republic evil genius, impresario, and au-teur, has ten fine tips that will give you and the children hours, nay, days of entertainment. Actually, he has 10 fine ways to upset a German, as if it was really all that hard. It has echoes of “Americans Anonymous”.

Fifth....when the German associate criticizes your government or your American, and just say "yeah, you're right". Don't waste effort in'll just aggravate the guy.
Leaving aside my bulging file of car and alcohol subject that are better left on pedantry’s doorstep, a challenge to ones’ pride must forever go untouched:
Ninth....when your German neighbor or associate tries awful hard to tell a joke, and its pretty and just laugh. If you do anything otherwise...they will say that you don't have a sense of humor.
True, even when grading on a curve.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 9 Vs July 13: Is It Any Wonder Why Europeans Must Constantly Pillory America?

Why do Europeans love Obama so much? Well, one reason is that Tax Freedom Day (the day on which the inhabitants of a country will have earned enough money to pay all federal, state, and local taxes for the year) in the United States comes on April 9 (merci au Professeur Reynolds), whereas in France, say, it comes a day before… Bastille Day (July 13)!

This is why Europe's leaders, élites, and media members must — constantly — make such a fuss about how horrible America is — if European citizens didn't hear that constant refrain, a number of them might be tempted to ask why they (the European citizens) are paying so much in taxes and in bureaucrats and in social services, when Americans (with many fewer) are just as well off if not much better off. The (invariable) answer: beneath the glitter (and the conspiracy!), America is really an inhuman place, a hell-hole full of crazy and/or ignorant clods (not to mention all kinds of victims and martyrs, racial, sexual, "poverty-induced", etc, etc, etc), who — contrary to us (to us reasonable and to us intelligent and to us extra-lucid and to us tolerant and to us compassionate souls) — have no love for their fellow human beings.

Remember all the soul-searching about "why (do) they hate us" during the Bush presidency? (The answer was invariably that it was obviously it was our fault. Or Bush's fault. Or our fault for electing Bush. Or the fault of America's "imperialist policies".)

The real reason why they hate us is the unending fare of anti-Americanism (and anti-capitalism) that Europeans are fed on a regular basis, in order to make the average citizen wary of, suspicious of, and scornful of America's every step, her every triumph, while failing to put into doubt — this is a direct correlation, the reverse side of the coin — the average EU nation's pursuit of "tolerant" and "compassionate" (i.e., leftist — and expensive) social policies. And this is why Europeans get giddy with delight every time an American politician arrives on the scene, saying Americans need more services, more controls, more bureaucrats — in one word, more taxes. It is somebody as reasonable as themselves, as intelligent as themselves, as compassionate as themselves, as lucid as themselves, and — of course — as improvident as themselves, who will bring the danger of an American example to the European citizen to a halt.

As Dick Morris and Eileen McGann explain,
Lenin was right. Socialism cannot exist in just one country — or one continent. It must dominate worldwide or wealth and power will flow to those who remain committed to the free market. Europe realizes this reality, and it makes Obama's election as president of the United States all the more welcome.

The Nobel Prize is really Obama's payback for disciplining the unruly United States and taming it to be a member of the European family of nations. Europe wants to reverse the American Revolution and re-colonize us, and it sees in Obama a kindred spirit willing to do its bidding.

This is How You Know They’ve Given up

In an article titled “Renewable energy projects in line for €115m windfall” we discover just how alien commerce is to educated Europeans, and how inherently hostile they are to it by virtue of an abject lack of awareness they have to the terms actual productive people who make things operate under.

Energy efficiency projects expected to get funds left over from the recovery package.

Projects to promote renewable energy or energy efficiency are in line for a windfall of at least €115 million, as the European Commission looks to reassign unspent money from the European recovery package.
In other words, a subsidy.

That same perception gap oozes out of everything on the enchanted continent. It shows that economic freedom, one of the core elements of genuine individual freedom, is neither well understood, or desired, so long as you can extract some resources from an unwilling doner.