Saturday, October 30, 2010

France... "Spoiled and Selfish".... America's View

The French have reached a new low
writes Edy Halpert. The former public relations director in Washington DC is now a mother of four, a freelance writer, and a teacher in France. She never forgets the serial comma.
As an American citizen, married to a Frenchman living outside of Paris, I am astonished and ashamed at the audacity of this country and its citizens. France is a country with the greatest advantages in health care, education, and social benefits one could ever imagine. Food is abundant, delicious, and cheap. You can buy a whole camenbert cheese for one euro fifty and delicious baguettes for just 80 cents.

The transportation system is amazing, and cheap especially if you are a student. The country actually pays you (no kidding) to have children and education here is practically free, even going to University. The work week consists of 35 hours, unless you are a business owner and do real work, unlike the overpaid civil servants here.

And get this, the French have five to seven weeks of (believe or not) paid vacation. It's almost impossible to be fired in France, but if you are, even if you are totally incompetent, you still get unemployment and retraining at the government's expense and are paid an exhorbitant amount when you are asked to leave by your employer.

If you ever visited this country, you know it is one of the most exquisite on earth, culturally, architechturally and terrain wise.

Now I ask you, why in the world would anyone want to strike when they have all the advantages of such a generous country and government, more than anyone else in the world....especially in light of the misery of those living in the rest of the world in poverty, without food, water, healthcare, or jobs they so desperately need to feed their starving families?

God forbid the French actually have to work to keep the country going until the shockingly ripe old age of 62. What a concept?

Communist and socialist unions have so poisoned the thinking of the average French citizen and students here, that the concept of hard work is unthinkable. They are destroying this country and forcing all major corporations and companies to outsource manufacturing through their unreasonable demands and soon France will become bankrupt like other nations in Europe. It is inevitable.

In any other country in the world, the average citizen would jump for joy just to have a job (eg, America, which was hit by one of the world's greatest recessions in history; People would kill to have a well paying job with benefits). And what about your average Asian or Indian employee who would think nothing of putting in an 80 hour work week in order to succeed? Poverty stricken immigrants from bordering nations risk daily their life just for the possibility to live in this country and help their families back home survive.

What is wrong with the French?

"Selfish and spoiled" is what an American friend wrote from California and I couldn't agree more. I only hope President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Fillon have the tremendous courage needed to fight those who seek to undermine the work ethic here in this country and stand up to those who benefit from the system but are too lazy and selfish to work hard to continue it for the sake of the future generations to come. The union leaders, and Socialists should be charged for their instigation of the horrible atrocities they have caused here costing the government over 400 million euros daily and creating total chaos in this country. If this continues, France, will most certainly become the laughingstock of the world. Maybe what is needed for the demonstrators is to take a little vacation in Haiti and see what real suffering is all about.

A Precious European Ponders the End of the O-ligarchy

Euronews, in reporting on the US mid-term election, obviously thinks that the story is about Europe. Titled “EU-US relations ‘steady’, though admiration fairly ‘one-way’,” one can only wonder what this self-absorbed stance can possibly mean when the European public has been conditioned into detesting the US for the past half century. The explanation comes from an Israeli historian:

Barnavi said: “Obama is not spontaneously a European. He’s the United States’ first post-European president. He looks more toward the Pacific than across the Atlantic. So an ambiguous relationship set in. From one side there’s affection and admiration for the man who’s obviously exceptional but also some disappointment over a president who doesn’t seem to be as attentive towards Europe as Europe is towards him.”
Smallminded, the ignorant mook who wrote the peicve confuses Obama with the entire nation, history and all, because, after all, Obama was supposed to be their guy, give them stuff, and act against the interest of the population of the United States.

Need proof that our byline-less knucklehead thinks this way? Get a load of the opening line:
The United States’ Star Spangled Banner has lost some of the new luster Europe saw in it with Barack Obama’s historic ascension as president.
It apparently lost its’ luster to all of humanity, including Americans, because a Euronews writer and his fellow nodding zombies passively experienced some disappointment.

Too bad, Sparky. You get to complain when you get to vote for him.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tea Partiers : "On ne veut pas de nounous ; nous ne sommes pas des mômes dans un jardin d'enfants"

Suite à un débat entre Démocrates et Républicains à l'Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP Europe) sur le sujet des mid-term elections, Pauline Fréour a interviewé, pour le compte du site du Figaro (merci à Bertrand), les deux intervenants, Thomas McGrath (Republicans Abroad France) et Joseph Smallhoover (Democrats Abroad France), ainsi que des spectateurs, dont… moi-même (il y a quelques erreurs dans ma description, quoique pas très graves — un tea partier, pour moi, n'est autre chose qu'un citoyen responsable et indépendant et le "virage plus radical" je l'avais pris il y a de nombreuses années, bien avant la réélection de Bush en 2004)… On retrouve aussi les interviews dans des blogs tels que La Pensée Néoconservatrice et Conservatisme Français

Lost in Space

Europe sticks to hitching a lift into space.

Brussels has shelved its space policy, reports Les Echos. "What was to be a major priority for the European Commission, now that the Lisbon Treaty has granted it new prerogatives in the field of space policy, has discreetly been sidelined." In the current context of budgetary restrictions, the Commission wants "to avoid exposing the European Union to risks inherent in high-profile financing of major space projects" like Galileo. As the daily explains, the space industry has responded with disbelief to the news that the Commission has set aside the implementation of a programme for which it had assumed political responsibility.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sparks Fly on France 24 Channel as Foes Debate the Mid-Term Elections

Sparks flew on Le Débat de France 24 as foes debated America's mid-term elections and to what extent, in the aftermath, Barack Obama will be able to pick up the pieces of his likely defeat.

Obama, une semaine pour rebondir — partie 1 et partie 2.
Il reste une petite semaine à Barack Obama pour redresser la barre. Les élections de mi-mandat aux Etats-Unis se tiendront dans une semaine et les sondages annoncent une vague républicaine. Les démocrates pourraient bien perdre la majorité à la Chambre des représentants.

Que peuvent changer ces élections de mi-mandat pour le reste du monde ?

Jean-Bernard Cadier reçoit:

  • Chip Seward, membre du comité exécutif de Democrats Abroad France
  • Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, correspondante, Weekly Standard
  • Erik Svane, membre de Republicans Abroad France, auteur de "La Bannière étalée"
  • Nicholas Dungan, conseiller spécial de l'IRIS
Emission préparée par Claire Brown et Perrine Desplats

(Un grand merci à Hervé pour avoir pris le temps de télécharger toutes les parties — l'émission dure 38 minutes au total — sur YouTube et pour avoir, en outre, créé une playlist…)

Plantu creates moral equivalence between the Iraq of a bloodthirsty psychopath and the Iraq that was liberated by the Americans

Former Iraqi minister Tariq Aziz sentenced to death

— Oh! I am so touched! It reminds me so much of the good ol' times under Saddam!

On the front page of Le Monde, Plantu creates moral equivalence between the Iraq of a bloodthirsty psychopath and the Iraq that was liberated by the Americans.

Note to Plantu: victims under the reign of Saddam Hussein had no recourse to a trial, being dispatched the same day their death was decided — usually in total secrecy — and no reporters or pundits, let alone anybody else, could criticize the courts and/or the government for their decision, whichever way it leaned.

And two months prior to his condemnation, incidentally, Saddam Hussein's former frontman denounced the Americans. For what reason?
He also criticised US President Barack Obama over the planned withdrawal of US troops, saying he was "leaving Iraq to the wolves".
How rich is that?! A professional pacifist and the world's most famous do-gooder, aka the Apologizer-in-Chief, being condemned for pulling American soldiers out of Iraq, not by an American conservative but by a leader of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist party.

Enfin, A Man In Full

The adjustment of reality to the masses and of the masses to reality is a process of unlimited scope, as much for thinking as for perception.

- Walter Benjamin

Author Stephan Wackwitz writes with apparent embarrassment about his youthful affection for fantasy socialist and thus a willing idiot for totalitarianism, Walter Benjamin:

My admiration for some of Benjamin's writing, the elegance of his thinking and his language more than anything else, has accompanied me throughout my intellectual life. And this in spite of the irreparable damage I probably inflicted upon myself during my period of obsessive Benjamin reading. Because the confusion of his thinking exponentially propelled my own confusions to new heights, for many years. When you read Benjamin, you must learn to strictly separate admiration and criticism.
Or otherwise simply take him for what he writes. To some, his writing is as enjoyable as anything one may find. In itself, that does not give its’ content any more significance than can be rationally found in it.

After all, the concept of originating critical theory by obfuscation turned into a cottage industry that reached its peak in the academic industry sector in the 1980’s. It then migrated into the occupations of social thinking and political crash testing.
It is precisely the purpose of the public opinion generated by the press to make the public incapable of judging, to insinuate into it the attitude of someone irresponsible, uninformed.

- Walter Benjamin, telling us that facts are irrelevant when we suffer from “false consciousness.”


So how do you explain why his writing, which fails to meet any traditional criteria, has been been so phenomenally influential since the 1960s? The content argument points to Benjamin's combination of "scientific socialism" with cabbalist and messianic motifs (most prominently in his "Theses on the Philosophy of History) which struck a chord with students' illusory hopes of revolution against all odds. And the motifs in the essay on "The Artwork in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" would certainly have been useful for a generation where most people grew up wanting to become "something media-related".
A creature we frequently meet today, not to mention their enablers, well programmed by a monomaniacal, ideologically driven view found in the academy:
In 1972 I was twenty, a supposedly not entirely untalented, deeply impressionable and utterly confused individual. One week it was Maoism, the next it was poetry or fine art. The interminable vacillations of a young man. Ersatz military service in Bad Urach, holidays in Paris, a patchwork university degree in Munich. The obligatory hitch-hiking in Italy. The effects of Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" and three cans of beer in a youth hostel in Milan. An old man holds his head in despair over the diaries of his younger self.
Thankfully, he is now free of this sort of narcissism:
Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method.
There will always be people who will sugar-coat tyranny, just as there will always be young people who are sharp enough but lack the life experience to resist them. The irony is that it’s those people who are not ‘people of letters’ that are more likely to have the capacity to identify the theories and motives behind the intellectual child molesters.

That they prey on callow university students is no less wrong.

Barack Obama et son administration ont été un désastre pour les Etats-Unis, à la fois sur le plan intérieur et extérieur

Stuart Haugen, ancien président des Républicains en France, répond aux questions de Marianne Enault du Journal de Dimanche et affirme que "L'idée selon laquelle le Tea Party serait un ramassis d'extrémistes n'existe que dans les médias et dans les rangs de la gauche libérale" (au sens américain du terme).

Quel est l'objectif du parti républicain pour les élections de mi-mandat?
Atteindre un seuil suffisamment critique au sein des deux chambres [Sénat et Chambre des représentants, ndlr] pour bloquer les mesures les plus radicales de Barack Obama, les grands programmes gouvernementaux et commencer à s'attaquer au déficit massif et au problème de la dette qui s'aggravent depuis dix ans. Les républicains veulent aussi réduire la taille et le poids du gouvernement fédéral. Enfin, nous souhaitons créer un environnement économique stable, dans lequel le business se sentira à l'aise pour investir et donc créer de l'emploi.

… Aujourd'hui, le gouvernement est totalement hors de contrôle, à la fois sur le plan fiscal et économique. Il dit aux gens comment il faut vivre, ce qu'ils doivent acheter… l'arrivée apparemment soudaine du Tea Party n'est pas tant liée à Barack Obama qu'à cette colère accumulée à l'encontre d'une administration fédérale hors de portée.

Quel bilan faites-vous des deux premières années de mandat de Barack Obama?
Barack Obama et son administration ont été un désastre pour les Etats-Unis, à la fois sur le plan intérieur et extérieur. Il est en passe d'être un président pire que Jimmy Carter! Nous sommes peut-être un peu plus "aimés" à l'étranger mais nous sommes moins respectés, à la fois par nos "amis" mais aussi par nos ennemis. La Chine et la Russie traitent Obama avec un manque de respect total. L'Iran et la Corée du Nord se moquent ouvertement de l'administration américaine. Enfin, nos alliés en Europe nous font la morale - à juste titre aurais-je envie d'ajouter - sur nos dépenses incontrôlées.

FYI, as a minor critique of the interview as printed in a shortened form, Stuart Haugen adds that
I did not really claim the Iraq war spending as a major motivation for the rise of the Tea Party (I did include it in the long list but she applied her "French" bias to make it the primary motivator, not a disaster…) and on one quote where I talk about spending money to expand public sector while the "private sector" is dying, she made an error.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Wikileaks Scandal Debated on France 24's Cable Channel

Another debate on the France 24 news cable channel, the day before the channel held a debate on America's mid-term elections, concerned the Wikileaks scandals.

Wikileaks : pour le meilleur ou pour le pire ? partie 1 et partie 2.
Journalisme d'investigation ou site à abattre ? Pour certains, incarne l'avenir du journalisme d'investigation et pour d'autres, c'est le site à abattre. Vendredi 22 octobre, WikiLeaks révélait 400 000 documents sur la guerre en Irak - « Iraq War Logs » - soit la « plus grande fuite de l'histoire », a titré la presse. Alors peut-on encore mener une guerre en toute transparence et doit-on tout dire ? Quels sont les risques liés à ce site d'information ?

* Tristan MENDÈS-FRANCE, Documentariste, blogueur d’
* Ellen WASYLINA, Analyste géopolitique, Republicans Abroad France
* Rémy OURDAN, Journaliste, Le monde
* Michel GOYA, Auteur de « Irak, les armées du chaos », Directeur d'études à l'IRSEM

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pipe Down an' Cool It

Climate catastrophe? The end of civilization as we know it? Cool It is based upon the book of the same name and lectures by Bjørn Lomborg, the controversial author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner travels the world with Lomborg exploring the real facts and true science of global warming and its impact.

What do you Expect from a Delusional Ideology?

Very little, especially when it comes to being imaginative or having good aim.

A WAR critic last night threw two shoes at former prime minister John Howard during a live television show and yelled "that's for the Iraqi dead".
Saddam Hussein’s victims were unavailable for comment.
Neither shoe hit Mr Howard during the program which also saw him blindsided when he was quizzed by David Hicks about why he was left at Guantanamo Bay military prison for 5½ years.

The “Man of Peace” in Kosovo

At 7 pm, French Time, I Will Be Joining in a Debate on France 24 (en français) on America's Mid-Term Elections

Ce soir, à 19h heure continentale, je participe à un débat sur France 24 concernant les mid-term elections et si Obama peut se relever du désastre annoncé…

Also at 7 pm local time, the TV channel's English-language studio will be hosting a debate on the same subject in English

(My own previous appearances on France 24 have been in English as well as in French…)

Today in History: A Birthday

"Je fais don de ma personne au maréchal Pétain comme il a fait don de la sienne à la France.
Je m'engage à servir ses disciplines et à rester fidèle à sa personne et à son oeuvre."

"I give of myself to Marshall Pétain as he gave of himself to France.
I pledge to serve his goals and to remain faithful to him and to his work. "

- François Mitterrand

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sandbox Journalism

Observing Hermann on those benighted sophisticates that call themselves European journalists:

This is the most pitiful article I’ve ever read on Spiegel Online, and that’s saying a lot–and that despite the fact that the guy at least got the title right: Obama’s Lost Magic.

Take a minute and read what informed, intelligent and sophisticated European journalists have to say when writing about Obama and the United States today. I would expect sixth graders to think this way, but… Whatever.
Now they are calling Obama a “weakling.” But that’s not fair.
If you can stomach this sort of “banging their spoons on their high chairs” sort of “news analysis”, then by all means feel free to read the whole thing. I just couldn’t.

David’s Medienkritik, deep into it’s gold-lamé unitard-wearing comeback tour, also found it infantile.

Gun Control in Europe: Vendettas With No End in Sight for Southern Corsican Town

Whenever Europeans (or leftist Americans) criticize America for its lack of gun control, its violence, and/or its high murder rate, I usually reply by a question: do you mean the violence and murders and lack of gun control in American cities such as Nice, Marseille, Palermo, and Bastia?

Pointing out that violence, gunplay, et al are hardly exclusively American — far from it — in spite of the leftists' (self-serving) fairy tales is not usually to the leftists' liking. And they would like nothing better to be able to ignore any examples to the contrary…

That is why on No Pasarán, we enjoy entertaining our readership with such cartoons as Merlin's and/or with such Le Monde articles as Yves Bordenave's.
Quand deux hommes cagoulés se sont dirigés sur [Pierre Balenci], armes pointées dans sa direction, il a d'abord eu le temps de mettre son fils à l'abri avant de prendre cinq balles — une au ventre, une à la jambe, une au pied et deux aux fesses — et enfin de riposter et de toucher mortellement Jacques Ettori dans le bas du dos.
Yves Bordenave also has a couple of articles on the death of Antoine Nivaggioni, who was gunned down near his Ajaccio home.

From the articles, it is possible to discover to what extent gun control is working in Europe (no, it is not just Corsica or Southern Europe) and to what extent the little people, honest breadwinners and gangsters alike, feel vindicated in trusting the police to protect them.
Antoine Nivaggioni, 49 ans, a été tué, lundi 18 octobre, à Ajaccio, peu avant 9 heures. L'ancien dirigeant nationaliste du Mouvement pour l'autodétermination (MPA) sortait de chez une amie demeurant en plein centre-ville, sur le boulevard Sylvestre-Marcaggi. Il s'apprêtait à monter dans son véhicule, lorsque deux tireurs armés d'un fusil à pompe et d'une kalachnikov, cachés dans le coffre d'une voiture, l'ont criblé de balles au thorax et à la tête.

Les enquêteurs ont prélevé 29 impacts autour de la scène de crime. "Il s'agit d'un schéma classique du mode opéré pour les règlements de comptes", a commenté Gilles Leclair, chargé de la coordination des forces de sécurité en Corse.

…Avec son ami Alain Orsoni, Antoine Nivaggioni symbolisait la reconversion dans le monde des affaires de ces nationalistes revenus des combats menés armes à la main jusqu'au milieu des années 1990. De cette période marquée par des violences et de nombreux assassinats, Antoine Nivaggioni avait conservé de l'entregent et une certaine autorité.

Son élimination par une équipe rivale, dont on ne sait si elle venge un proche, si elle cherche à conquérir un espace ou si elle défend un territoire, s'inscrit dans une longue série de règlements de comptes qui ensanglantent la capitale insulaire depuis près de cinq ans. Parvenu à ce stade où un homicide en appelle un autre, il y a toutes les raisons de redouter les conséquences de ce dernier épisode tragique.
Quant à "la série macabre qui ensanglante" Sartène ("la plus corse des villes corses" selon Mérimée), la
commune est en passe de devenir la capitale insulaire du crime : huit morts par balles en deux ans et dix tentatives. … Pour le procureur Thomas Pison, cet enchaînement relève du règlement de comptes local, à la lisière du grand banditisme. Rivalités ? Vengeances ? Sûrement les deux. Ici, le meurtre appelle souvent un autre meurtre, et, si la mort des uns ne répare pas celle des autres, elle lave dans le sang l'honneur des hommes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Internationale of the 21st Century?

"It's time they heard these words…"

“You Just Can't Allow a Bunch of Regular People Express Brilliance...”

The great schnitzeller make the simple point that skill and rigor are nothing without the element of trust, and the willingness of those in the know and in the capital to send out the signal to a society of potential innovators that they can think and act outside the box (inside their society).

German society, he asserts, is one that suppresses ingenuity for the sake of “things that just are.”

A guy like Bill Gates coming up with an amazing idea and launching it into a major enterprise within twenty years in Germany?  Never.  It simply can't happen.  The banking structure, the political structure, the national media, and various other stumbling blocks would ensure that something like that can't happen.
While the elite are busy tut-tutting you for not fitting the curve, and measuring your leistung, they are fearful of those who are really radically different in a positive way, if not bound up with the fake bombast of the public arts.
I had an American make the simple analysis that the last time that a regular German came out of nowhere to take on the "machine" was Adolph Hitler.  I laughed over the analysis and kept thinking I would find lots of regular people that launched careers and beat the system.
Either that, or they just leave to do their thing. While the rest of civilization clearly benefits from the dynamic, the malice quietly sprinkled on those ingenious folk who were not “engineered” by curricula and career paths that are chiseled into your tombstone, only serves to spike the creative spirit, not to mention smothering the joie de vivre of personality types not shared by that elite.
But on the whole of things.....this mighty nation is faced each Sunday evening with the thought and analysis of university elites.  For those who tune into channel one around 9:45 after's 75-odd minutes of political thought by elites, and not much else.

This recent topic of integration?  Well....the majority of the cultural and university elites don't see a problem.  They'd keep this train running on the same track.  The guys from the local plant?  The folks from the local pub?  The crowd that hangs out at the soccer stadium?  They have a vastly different view.  It doesn't matter where you go in Germany....they see too many foreigners and an influence that they dislike.

And What If Obama Had Simply Been Elected in the Wrong Country?

As riots play out in the streets of France, demanding more government money, a ridiculously low retirement age, and other state-distributed largesses, J C Durbant quotes from Guy Sorman's Wall Street Journal article and asks
Should Obama run in France next time?