Saturday, November 12, 2011

They’ll Find out that Belt-tightening has Nothing to do with BDSM

In a land where people don’t have any disposable income thanks to taxes and “syndicalist” consumer price bloating, any form of reality bites.

Budget cuts that might once have sent French people marching into the streets look set to pass in silence as anxiety about debt and deficits, long non-issues in free-spending France, loom large in voters' minds ahead of a presidential election.
And you can always expect the usual teenager-like passive-aggression:
Yet the response has been muted, and early signs are that little outcry is to be expected. Labor unions issued statements denouncing the new round of cuts as unwarranted austerity. But they are vague about any plans to respond with protests.

The Continent's New Europeans

Europe's newest citizens are first and foremost Moroccans, Turks, and Indians, reports Le Monde, integrating the countries that they are historically linked to, i.e., France, Germany, and Britain who, together, take in over half (respectively 135,800, 96,100, and 203,600) of the continent's new arrivals. The trio is followed by Spain (79,600, mainly from Ecuador) and Italy (59,400, mostly from Albania and Morocco). Altogether, the number of new Europeans has risen from 528,000 in 1998 to 776,000 in 2009.
Les acquisitions de nationalité sont avant tout marquées par les liens historiques entre pays d'origine et pays d'accueil.En France, en Espagne et au Royaume-Uni, les pays d'origine en tête des acquisitions sont tous issus des anciens empires coloniaux.

Les conditions d'accès à la nationalité varient considérablement d'un Etat membre à l'autre, en fonction du caractère plus ou moins restrictif des politiques en vigueur mais aussi de la demande. En Allemagne, oùla loi a pourtant été assouplie en 1999, le nombre d'acquisitions de la nationalité a été divisé par deux en dix ans. A l'inverse, l'Espagne, qui est passée d'une terre d'émigration à un pays d'immigration, amultiplié ce chiffre par sept entre 1998 et 2009 ; l'Italie par 6, le Royaume-Uni par 4. En France, la baisse observée depuis 2004 fait suite à la loi du 26 novembre 2003 qui a durci les conditions d'acquisition de la nationalité par le mariage.

Plus de la moitié des nationalités octroyées en Europe le sont par le Royaume-Uni, la France et l'Allemagne. Un trio de tête constant depuis dix ans. Le nombre d'acquisitions de nationalités dans l'UE reste peu élevé au regard des 32,5 millions d'étrangers qui y vivent (dont un tiers sont originaires d'un autre Etat membre). Près de la moitié des nouveaux citoyens européens ont moins de 30 ans.

In His Very Own Saintly Words, Part II

"The Negro is indolent and lazy, and spends his money on frivolities, whereas the European is forward-looking, organized and intelligent."

- Ernesto "Che" Guevara,
erudite toleration promoter

Friday, November 11, 2011

John McCrae: In Flanders Fields (1915)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

What Part of Europe Are You From?

Annoy a Liberal

Work Hard & Be Happy

Veteran's bumper stickers

Seen at Bull Run battlefield, Manassas, Virginia

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Actually he said you All Suck

Not just the EU:

Using language recalling German tabloid depictions of "lazy Greeks", the chairman of China's sovereign wealth fund has said the EU as a whole suffers from "sloth" and "indolence."
Ah! No! It’s that slow food sort of quality of life thing, not parasitism and indolence! Besides, he was talking about all of Europe, not just the EU.
"If you look at the troubles which have happened in European countries, this is purely because of the troubles of a worn-out welfare society. I think [the EU's] welfare laws are outdated. The labour laws induce sloth, indolence. The incentive system is totally out of sink," he said.
After much consternation about whether or not the self-appointed Gods of the universe would “let” those un-classy go-go-all-business Chinese use their CIC to buy ECB bonds, Jin asked the real question:
Our people would ask: 'Hey. Are you sure we can get a fair return on our investment?'"
Of course not. That’s why the market isn’t buying. It’s why the yield on the Greek 2 year is nearly 100%, which is more than what any loan shark will take on risk.

Do you really think the Chinese what to lend money to an entity inhabited by people generally sympathetic to revolutionary Communism who might nationalize their assets?

Fallujah "Is Worse Than Hiroshima": What French TV Is Showing These Days

"'It's worse than Hiroshima,' remarks a [so-called] British expert."

Martine Delahaye has an article on the type of documentaries made by Frenchmen and shown on Canal +. In Iraq: The Sacrificed Children of Fallujah, we learn that it is a city where "one doctor" recommends to women not to have children anymore (one out of five kids is born handicapped, it is claimed) because the "United Statesian" army dropped illegal, cancer-provoking bombs on the city during the war. Guess there won't be much time devolved to interviews of any of the many Fallujah residents who helped American troops smoke out Al Qaeda operatives…
Les nouveau-nés face aux nouvelles bombes chimiques américaines

B ébés nés avec la tête difforme, des organes en moins, ou des membres atrophiés... Dans la ville irakienne de Falloujah, à cinquante kilomètres à l'ouest de Bagdad, un nouveau-né sur cinq serait atteint de malformations graves. Lorsque le réalisateur Feurat Alani parvient à entrer dans la ville pour le tournage du documentaire Irak : les enfants sacrifiés de Falloujah (Baozi Prod), l'hôpital de la ville (300 000 habitants) a connu en une seule semaine cinq cas de bébés nés difformes. Si bien qu'un médecin de la maternité de la ville conseille aujourd'hui aux femmes de ne plus concevoir d'enfant.


Ces malformations, apparues depuis 2005, auraient un lien direct avec les deux guerres du Golfe.

En rébellion contre l'arrivée des Américains, la ville, à partir de novembre 2004, a connu des mois d'affrontements extrêmement violents, quelque 2 000 Irakiens s'opposant alors à 15 000 soldats de la coalition. Sans oublier plusieurs semaines de bombardements, l'aviation américaine ayant largué des centaines de tonnes de missiles sur Falloujah jusqu'en 2010 pour l'écraser définitivement avant de la quitter. " Avant l'invasion de la ville, on nous a dit que ce serait la plus grande bataille depuis celle de Huê au Vietnam ", explique d'ailleurs un vétéran américain de la guerre d'Irak (27 ans).

Alerté par des médecins du pays et des ONG qui accusent les Etats-Unis d'avoir alors usé d'armes interdites en zone habitée, et peut-être même de matériels secrets en cours d'expérimentation, Feurat Alani mène ici l'enquête sur les possibles fondements de cette dénonciation.

Or des scientifiques ayant pu mener des recherches sur place, des experts internationaux et d'anciens officiers de l'armée américaine eux-mêmes ne doutent plus que l'armée états-unienne ait eu recours, à Falloujah, à des bombes au phosphore blanc, une arme chimique et incendiaire interdite sur les populations.

Mais ce documentaire tend surtout à prouver qu'il y a pire encore : seul l'usage massif de bombes à l'uranium appauvri permet d'expliquer les cancers enregistrés à Falloujah à des taux jamais constatés ailleurs. " C'est pire qu'à Hiroshima ", commente un expert britannique.

En témoigne un ancien haut gradé de l'armée américaine, atteint de plusieurs cancers et de problèmes rénaux après avoir supervisé un programme de recherches sur les conséquences de l'arme à l'uranium appauvri et avoir vu mourir les membres de son équipe : " L'uranium est utilisé dans les munitions américaines (missiles, obus de chars, blindages de véhicules) depuis 1991. Ce sont des déchets nucléaires qui contaminent tout : l'air, l'eau, la terre, la nourriture, note-t-il. Ce sera contaminé pour l'éternité. "

Martine Delahaye

Feurat Alani

(France, 2011, 52 minutes).

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Lincoln, U.S. Grant, DSK, and My Mother: Didn't Herman Cain in Fact Behave Like a Gentleman?

As Abraham Lincoln once said (quoting an old-timer he knew from his Kentucky childhood):
It's been my experience that folks who have no vices have generally very few virtues.
More famously, when told that his most successful general was a drunkard, or an alcoholic, Lincoln replied that he wanted to find out which brand of whiskey Ulysses Simpson Grant drank — so that he could send a barrel of the beverage to each of his other generals.

Offhand, I am tempted to lend credence to the Sharon Bialek woman (although you can hardly deny that she does look like a bimbo), but in any case, I don't care — especially with what is at stake (Obama's plans for transforming America, etc). Like Dr. Helen says to Andrew Klavan, don't fall into the Alinsky trap.

In any case, Cain backed off immediately. Like my mother quipped (before Nancy Reagan), shaking her head at all the feminists' ranting and raving and lawsuits and other hysterics, "Just say No!" (which seems to be exactly what Bialek did).

What seems surprising is not how many claimants there are, but how few. And how soon the "harassment" ended (one single No each time sufficed).

The Deeper Problem

On Ann Althouse's blog (thanks to Instapundit), a commenter says that
Republicans would look pretty stupid to defend Cain after all the fuss over Clinton and Edwards.
The main problem conservatives have regarding the Clinton and Edwards cases is not the sex they had but the liberals' and the MSM's double standards.
99% of the comments here [on Althouse's blog] are in defense of Cain and reflect an overwhelming belief that all of the women are just out and out liars.
99% of us do not believe, we… know (!)
1) that the Left and the MSM has double standards for liberals and conservatives (Clinton and Edwards vs. Thomas and Cain)
2) and that the feminists and the PC crowd have gone overboard with their attempts to demonize men for their every action, thought, and instinct as men (see Stephen Baskerville's Taken Into Custody:The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family), and that (as a result) in many cases, the latest scandal and the latest accusations against men, in general or against one man in particular, tend to be, if not (partly) fabricated, (highly) exaggerated.

The left and the MSM pretend to be neutral, objective observers, and yet they use these double standards. If being economical with the truth (deliberately holding back relevant facts) is akin to deceit and telling a lie, then who are the people who are really "lying through their teeth"?

Therefore, it is not being a "foolish dupe" to bring in what Bialek defenders call "distractions", it is the height of intelligence and common sense.

Indeed, when you buy, or when anyone buys, into the left's self-serving view of history — of conservatives as wicked hypocrites and of themselves as defenseless victims and/or as the heroic knights coming to the latters' rescue (viz. Barack Obama) — then who is the foolish dupe?

Sharon Bialek's Testimony

Several times on the Ann Althouse post, one pro-Bialek commenter asks, incredulously:
Did you even listen to the press conference?
What press conference did YOU watch??
I watched the press conference where Sharon Bialek said when she arrived at her room, it turned out to be a suite and when she met with Herman Cain, she was told she had been "upgraded". Then drinks in the lounge, then driving to a restaurant (more drinks? romantic music? candles?), then plans for driving her home to her hotel… suite.

Right then and there — when she had heard about the upgrade — she should have said No. Or maybe not No, but put a damper on the restaurant business and on a myriad of other things…

Again, I am going to quote my good ol' mother — and she is a lifelong Democrat; this time from a time in the 1990s where there were two rape trials at the same time, one involving Mike Tyson and another involving a Kennedy family member named Smith.

My mother had zero sympathy for either alleged victim. One girl should never have gone to the boxer's hotel room, the other should never have followed the Kennedy cousin home to the Kennedy beach house in the middle of the night to sit with him on the beach under the moonlight. It's that simple.

Didn't Cain in Fact Behave Like a Gentleman?

I'm beginning to think of Cain as pretty smart and gentlemanly, actually — even if the claims, all of them, turn out to be true. Maybe he's something of a cad, certainly a married man should not behave like that, but he is not a Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK) who hurls himself at the first woman he sees, uninvited. Cain proceeds wisely one step at a time (wisely, that is, if you don't know you will run for president a decade from now)…

First, a comparison to the height, say, of a woman he is intimate with (his wife), then he lets the woman take the next step (a giggle or an inviting remark), and if she doesn't react positively (or at all), he immediately lets it go… No wonder that one claimant was perturbed (still, hardly reason enough to file sexual harassment charges) but, on the other hand, no wonder that he says — quite honestly and quite correctly — that he "has never harassed anyone." (Still, one must assume that he must have had positives responses a few times, so are we going to see any of those alleged women who agreed to have a fling with him come out with their stories (any Penthouse cash offers in the year to come)?)

Okay, it shouldn't happen on the workplace, and a married man shouldn't behave in that manner, but still, that's what is called un pas de deux.

With Sharon Bialek, assuming her story is true, it was all the ooh'ing and ah'ing the day of his speech, which certainly could seem like flirting, then — what was it, a few weeks later — came a call for a rendez-vous, followed by a room upgrade (not a single protest from Bialek), then drinks in the lobby, then a ride in Cain's car (with Cain as chauffeur), then dinner (candles? romantic music? constant eye contact? batting eyelids?), and back to Cain's vehicle… And nevertheless, here again at the very first obstacle — Bialek's protest — Cain immediately lets it go… And according to Bialek herself, he drove her back to the hotel — dare we say gentlemanly? — not even showing anything akin to anger or annoyance.

Cain is obviously not the part of the caricatured sex maniac (à la DSK) preying on his victims…One can hardly deny that he has something of the gentleman in him…

In any case, if he is a cad he is a cad with business and financial sense, and that is what the nation needs right now…

It should be known that the hero of the rather prudish (non-smoking, non-drinking, non-fooling around) Lincoln — his "beau ideal of a statesman", as he put it himself — was Henry Clay, who, we are told, had some of that same reputation — besides drinking and gambling and dancing, one of the greatest statesmen of the 19th century loved to "kiss the ladies" (although, admittedly, he failed several times to win the White House) . But, again, as the 16th president said, quoting some wizened anonymous old-timer from the Kentucky hills,
it's been my experience that folks who have no vices have generally very few virtues

Inspired by America's Black Studies, French Specialists Publish Book on Black France

That'll work…

Inspired by America's black studies, as well as by Britain's, coos Elise Vincent, a group of historians, researchers, and "recognized specialists on the history of Africa and the colonial period" are printing a book on the "sensitive question" of La France Noire.
Existe-t-il une histoire des " noirs " de France ? Peut-on regrouper sous la même bannière les personnes issues des migrations d'outre-mer et africaines ? Un collectif de chercheurs, parmi lesquels des spécialistes reconnus de l'histoire de l'Afrique et de la période coloniale, a décidé de répondre par la positive à cette question sensible, en publiant, jeudi 3 novembre, un vaste ouvrage : La France Noire (La Découverte, 59 ¤).

Cette approche historique est nouvelle en France. Elle s'inscrit dans la droite ligne des " Black Studies " anglo-saxonnes, ce mouvement universitaire né aux Etats-Unis dans les années 1960 lors de la lutte des noirs pour leurs droits civils. Les étudiants afro-américains pensaient alors que la défense de leurs intérêts passait aussi par l'étude historique de leurs propres racines et la création de départements de recherche spécialisés.

La France Noire revendique surtout sa filiation avec le travail d'un sociologue britannique : Paul Gilroy, membre de la London School of Economics. Auteur de The Black Atlantic (1993) et de Black Britain (2007), il est l'un des intellectuels outre-Manche qui a le plus contribué à l'affirmation d'une identité noire au Royaume-Uni.
Not that all the tidbits are not interesting and not that everything black is sugarcoated:
Pour Pascal Blanchard, il faut ainsi rappeler, d'une part, que l'arrivée des noirs en France " n'est pas une immigration récente : ils sont là depuis le XVIIIe siècle ! ". De l'autre, il faudrait cesser d'affirmer, selon lui, que les " tirailleurs sénégalais ont servi davantage de chair à canon que les Bretons, les Corses ou les Occitans ". Et d'ajouter : " Comme on n'avait pas confiance en eux, ils étaient sur l'arrière-front et ne se sont pas beaucoup battus. "

De la même façon, l'historien considère que la " mémoire noire " a eu tendance à ne retenir que les figures qui lui convenaient. " Tout le monde a oublié par exemple l'histoire de Gratien Candace ! ", rappelle-t-il. Cet homme politique né en Guadeloupe avait rejoint le régime de Vichy pendant la seconde guerre mondiale et en était devenu l'un de ses principaux cadres.

Europe: a Helpless, Pitiful Elf

When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. On the other hand, you can’t solve decades of complex economic problems with diplomacy.

That task has become even more tricky after European leaders failed to get any firm commitments to invest from cash-rich countries like China or Brazil at a summit of the Group of 20 leading economies in France last week.

“This current financial turbulence is really eroding the foundations of economic growth and employment in Europe,” European Union Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told the European Parliament before the finance ministers’ meeting. “So the first thing to do in the current situation is to stop the rot.”

Desperate times demand desperate measures, not to mention desperate statements like this one:

Monday, November 07, 2011

Caption Contest

"Wassa-Matta-You?" You ask? Well, nothing but this food for thought: before frisky Silvio the singin' fool came along, continuity in the Italian governement lasted about 6 months, and normally involved fantasy Communists and a lot of childish bickering. It was worse for the National reputation that the words "bunga bunga" could ever be.

So be careful what you wish for.

In His Very Own Saintly Words, Part I

"We're going to do for blacks exactly what blacks did for the revolution. By which I mean: nothing."

- Ernesto "Che" Guevara

French Magazines Go After Minority Women

No blondes or white skin in these new women's magazines, writes Elise Vincent. With titles such as Brown, Miss Ebony, Gazelle, Amina, and Pilibo, French publishers are going after minority females with ties to Africa or the Middle East, whether they are recent arrivals to France or second- or third-generation immigrants..

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Organizers vs. the Organized

I'm Alright Jack! (1959)

A Cartoon With All the Right Details

There is a rather brilliant cartoon in this week's Economist, although it is followed by a less realistic cartoon (below) and the article it accompanies is replete with leftist condescension and phrases such as "a radical budget plan drawn up by Paul Ryan", "a merciless purge", "recklessness", "its rigidity on taxes", "anti-tax ideologues", and "Obstructive, reckless, extreme, willing to dismantle the whole edifice of the New Deal", all the while speaking of "Mr Obama’s bad luck".

As for the David Parkins cartoon, it has a red elephant teapot, ridden by the Republican candidates, pouring scalding tea over a hapless donkey.