Saturday, February 19, 2005

Protest for Europe and America

Medienkritik has the details

LCDR Moonbat

How could they be so PC, and name a ship after hime after he did this?

Of course Europe is not Togo

The Togolese are out in force protesting the installation of Faure Gnassingbe, the quickie modification of their constitution to support it, AND Chirac who they see as contributing to their chaos. Were it Bush they were protesting and in Europe, the european press would call it 'further pressure' because Euros imagine that their words and ideas have power that comes with just being 'peens and hating western civilization in spite of an abundance of facts to the contrary.

Arte? Tfeh!

John Rosenthal looks into this:

He also points out:

"Those Americans inclined to react to every apparent expression of French rage at America by posing the proverbial and doleful question “Why do they hate us?” might consider Arte and then realize that perhaps “they” don’t know us. The problem with Arte in this connection is not that there is a lack of material on American society and politics in its programming, but rather that there is a wildly excessive offering of such material, almost all of it, however, being selected and spun in such a way as to caste the US in the most negative imaginable light and some of it consisting of outright disinformation. "

Never straying from the line

RNW, the International Radio service of the Netherlands, once again has wall to wall anti-americanism on the eve of George Bush's visit to the center of the universe (Europe).

It is The
international propaganda channel for unthinking robotic butt-monkeys. They simply don't produce anything reflecting both sides of an issue when it comes to the U.S. - they engage in a short symbolic presentation of the U.S. view, and back they go....

A few months ago on a program that they laughably call Pax Humana, they ran audio of Bush alright, but only by running it through a menacing sounding reverb filter.

This week they get Brian Sayer of
Republicans Abroad/Belguim to play the goat while a professional, full time protestor gets to goad the U.S. for not doing anything about Halabja when it happened, but that massacres like Halanja are somehow meaningless adventures of intervention into others' sovereignty. The irony is that all his points did more to prove the validity of American intervention and against Euro-inaction and talking-shop tea parties. Ludo the wind-up toy of pedantic anti-american issues did not disappoint.

from their website:

Forum host Andy Clark is joined by Ludo de Brabander, the co-ordinator for no fewer than 88 groups planning to protest against President Bush's visit, and Brian Sayers, director of Republicans Abroad Belgium - one of the foreign arms of the president's party.

"We have the first round of protests planned for Monday in front of the US embassy," says
Ludo de Brabander.

"It's during the week, of course, but we are expecting several thousand people. We see a big will, from looking at all the e-mail traffic and all the phone calls we are getting. I think there will be a lot of people."

Andy Clark: "Which are the main issues that are firing people up then?"

Ludo de Brabander: "Well, it's a broad coalition so there are a lot of issues - [ed.: nah! really?!?] there are environmental issues of concern... There is also the human rights problem... - under the pretext of the 'war on terrorism', people are being imprisoned for several years without trial in Guantanamo. And there are peace groups who are, of course, concerned about the war in Iraq." [ed.: note the lack of concern now that there has been an election compared to a year ago]

"Of course we are for a better relationship between the United States and the european Union - and in general with all countries around the world, but it should be on the terms of international law [please, sir, please show me that BIG BOOK of International law!!!] and in respect of what other countries are saying," [ed.: but not doing]

Try to count the number of wars which have been stopped, the starvation ended, the oppressed people freed by European protestors. It's almost as effective as those little stickers have been over the past 20 years of Freeing Tibet.

Spain = Liberia

Espanky in Espain ees SO eager to give me money!

I get about one of these every two months or so. They are obviously taking advantage of the difficulty of filing complaints from abroad, and the inaction of Spanish authorities.

The only thing that differentiates this from a Nigerian or Liberian scam letter is that the Africans know how to use e-mail, and that these Spaniards are not compelled to do this because of teh poverty that comes with a civil war.

Bush phobia hysterics continueL'hystérie de la phobie Bush continue
As Continents go, Europe is like an hysterical on-the-rag faggot.
En tant que Continent, l'Europe ressemble à un pédaloïde hystérique qui a ses règles.

Just vote 'yes' for the American Constitution and we'll be done with this.

French youth think this prick is a heroLa caillera franchouille prend ce porc pour un héro
MercutioClub celebrates an American Hero.
MercutioClub rend hommage à un héro Américain.

Friday, February 18, 2005

His prices are Insane!

Under the pact, France will create a better air cover over Libyan territory with sales of aircraft and combat helicopters, and improve Libya's arsenal, much of it bought from France about 30 years ago.

There's also this little bit of
selling off the farm:

U.S. officials warned Paris and Berlin that any decision to remove the embargo would create new obstacles to joint U.S.-European defense programs. The U.S. currently has several multibillion-dollar defense programs in cooperation with major European firms. New weapons sales to Beijing could force these programs to be scaled back or canceled altogether.

The recent friction between the U.S. and its EU allies was raised to a peak after a cross-Atlantic fight over the Galileo satellite navigation system erupted. Galileo is a European space-based navigation system similar to the U.S.-built GPS satellite network.

In a bid to look serious about arms control, we also have this to dwell on: France probing Israeli arms sales to Ivory Coast

Aging veterans let down

Colin Randall reports in the Telegraph on a aging Veteran of the intelligence war against Nazi Germany being left down, and revealing a legacy of vanity:

An author who served in Winston Churchill's "secret army",
the SOE, preparing agents to be dropped into Nazi-occupied France, is making a final attempt to convince the French she should be treated as a war veteran.

In her largely unnoticed struggle with the French authorities over the past 14 years, Noreen Riols has been repeatedly rebuffed with arguments that include the claim that Britain was "not a war zone".

One letter from a French official stated that the Special Operations Executive was not an operational unit, despite losing 104 agents on French soil or in German captivity.

She felt particular injustice on learning that women who worked for Gen Charles de Gaulle's parallel London-based organisation were recognised by France even if their duties were purely clerical.

Gen de Gaulle opposed the work of SOE's F Section, seeing it as part of an Anglo-Saxon plot to steal the Resistance's glory.

-remerci, Herr Wei

Europeans might be modifying their cartoonish image of the Bushies

Is it possible that Bush wasn't entirely wrong?
asks Richard Bernstein in the International Herald Tribune
…after the [Iraqi] election, when [Der Tagesspiegel's] Washington correspondent suggested on Page 1 that maybe, after all, Bush sniffed out a truth about the "axis of evil," the [German daily's] staff strenuously objected. "The idea that Bush might actually have been right — that was a little much for our staff," [Christoph Marschall, the editorial page editor of the paper,] said. Still, opposition or not, the paper in yet another editorial, spoke of "the sublime nature of this day," meaning Jan. 31, when the election was held, and criticized Europeans for failing to admit that "even a wrong war can have some positive consequences."

…Still, it does seem as if at least some former European opponents of American policy are taking on a more nuanced view of things. There's a willingness, as Pierre Hassner, the French political scientist put it, to incorporate some bright spots in the Iraq situation into what has until now been a uniformly dark framework. The election seems to have conveyed the message that even the initial decision to go to war — rather than pursue the European option of unending diplomacy — was not a simple wrong but a tough choice with strong arguments both for and against.

"The pictures of the people voting, even though it's hard to say it was worth two years of war, psychologically it was a turning point," Hassner said.

Bernstein goes on to hedge that a "recent poll by the German Marshall Fund, conducted after the election in the United States but before the election in Iraq, shows vividly how deep the European distrust of America is" and that it "wouldn't be a bad thing, as he travels in Europe, for Bush to keep in mind that these objections, like the earlier ones in Europe, are often quite cogent and deeply felt". Dick, why don't you mainstream media types stop pandering once and for all to distrust which is entirely self-serving and to deeply-felt feelings which have everything to do with their conviction that they are blessed as the paragons of wisdom, generosity, and virtue on this planet?

You say so yourself:

though Europeans were gracious enough not to gloat during the darkest days of the Iraqi conflict, you could almost smell the schadenfreude here over the American plight.
That is nothing to feel proud of or to pander too. And when a supposedly independent newspaper's staff "strenuously" objects that a fact is too much for them, that is nothing to feel proud of, either. Stop the pandering.
"What happens come May or June when Bush turns to Condi and says, 'What have I gotten out of this?"' Gary Smith, director of the American Academy in Berlin, said, referring to Condoleezza Rice's promotion of warmer trans-Atlantic ties.

"The Europeans need to know that it's more than about being right or wrong, but about taking responsibility, and not just responsibility but coordinated responsibility, working out the priorities in coordination with the Americans. Because if everything is uncoordinated — training in Iraq, soft diplomacy on Iran, arms to China — the alliance still falls short."

NHL on strike, so here's your hockey stick

Environmentalists refer to the holy graph which demonstrates temperature change over time as the hockey stick because of its' profile. However, there is a small problem.

But that will mean far-reaching industrial changes. Mr. McIntyre's complaint is that supporters of Kyoto pushed for it by wielding a graph, the hockey stick, whose validity they'd never fully scrutinized. "Give me a break -- we are making billion-dollar decisions," he says, noting that businesses, by contrast, must carefully audit their financial statements and projections.

The problem, says Mr. McIntyre, is that Dr. Mann's mathematical technique in drawing the graph is prone to generating hockey-stick shapes even when applied to random data. Therefore, he argues, it proves nothing. Statistician Francis Zwiers of Environment Canada, a government agency, says he now agrees that Dr. Mann's statistical method "preferentially produces hockey sticks when there are none in the data."

Mainstream scientists have also been scrutinizing the hockey stick. One, Hans von Storch of Germany's GKSS center, has presented theoretical findings arguing that Dr. Mann's technique could sharply underestimate past temperature swings. Indeed, new research from Stockholm University on historical temperatures suggests past fluctuations were nearly twice as great as the hockey stick shows. That could mean the 20th-century jump isn't quite so anomalous.
One of (computer scientist and writer, Jerry)Pournelle's Laws states "You can prove anything if you can make up your data." I will now add another Pournelle's Law: "You can prove anything if you can keep your algorithms secret."
thanks to
John Ray.

Hey, no biggie. The French are so anti-Semitic and so anti-American that there are French blogs that compare the Shoah to the condition of blacks in AmericaBof, les fwançais sont tellement antisémites et tellement anti-ricains qu'il y a des blogs franchouilles qui comparent la Shoah au traitement des noirs en Amérique
At a press conference in Algiers Dieudonné compares the remembrance of the Shoah to 'a pornographic remembrance'. The Justice Ministry has ordered an investigation for charges of 'denial of crimes against humanity'.
Lors d'une conférence de presse à Algers Dieudonné compare la mémoire de la Shoah à 'une pornographie mémorielle'. Le Ministère de la Justice ordonne l'ouverture d'une enquête pour 'contestation de crime contre l'humanité'.
UPDATE: Dieudonné pushes the envelope. Hey, no biggie. The French are so anti-Semitic that there are French blogs that say that this is all humor, comical caricature, and commentary taken out of context.DERNIERES INFOS: Dieudonné pousse le bouchon. Bof, les fwançais sont tellement antisémites qu'il y a des blogs franchouilles qui disent que c'est de l'humour, de la caricature de comique, ou bien des propos pris hors de tout contexte.

Euro Fun Anymore!

In the International Herald Tribune, Giles Merritt gives us the following:
…before taking Bush to task over what many see as American irresponsibility, the EU leaders who will be meeting him here next week should take a cool look at Europe's economic policy failings. They have little to crow about. From new jobs to new patents, from economic growth to industrial productivity, the United States continues to set a pace that Europe can't keep up with.

… At the heart of Europe's economic shortcomings lies the euro, which since its introduction in January 2002 has become a source of European pride yet also of growing alarm. The euro has gained the illusion of strength because when measured against the weakening dollar it is now worth 30 percent more than three years ago. That has disguised the in-built vulnerability of the euro that some analysts believe is calling into question its long-term survival.

The euro is rapidly acquiring the features of a politically unstable currency.

Bush is sure to be quizzed in Brussels on U.S. fiscal goals during his second term, and his EU questioners will no doubt warn him against the risk of the dollar crashing if the deficits are not checked.

He should feel free to ask them in return if the eurozone governments have a strategy not just for reining back on their pact-busting levels of debt, but for moving their public finances into surplus.

Meanwhile, Thomas Fuller weighs in with this:
Three years after the introduction of euro notes and coins, residents of Europe's smaller countries have been far more nimble in adapting to the single currency than people living in France, Germany and Italy, according to a survey released by the European Commission …

Over all, 49 percent of respondents in the 12 countries that use the euro said the currency causes them some degree of difficulty, a similar result to a poll released last year. …

Even EU officials have difficulty sometimes. "For large figures, probably the old currency still makes more sense to know what you're talking about," said a high-ranking official, who admits to making the conversions in his head. …

For some Europeans the euro changeover feels like yesterday.

… In other findings of the poll:

… Very few Europeans understand or know about the growth and stability pact, the rules that underpin the euro. Only 19 percent of respondents said they had heard of it and understood it while 45 percent said they had never heard of it.

The rest said they had heard about it but didn't know what it was about.

And don't forget:

Listen! Just unify Europe under a common currency and a common organization and you will see that it will bring common benefits to all while making war within Europe something unimaginable

Mark Steyn is at it again

“In such a world, it's good to know we still have the guts to finger the real bad guys. Thus, when Chariho Regional High School art teacher Lynn Norton set her pupils the task of expressing an idea three-dimensionally, Jeffrey Eden immediately thought of a diorama comparing Bush to Hitler. You might think that ought to be disqualified on the grounds that characterizing Bush as Hitler is about as two-dimensional as you can get, and it's less of a diorama than the diarrhea of leftist rhetoric, as poured forth by millions of drones and nude Marin County feminist protesters and European activist puppeteers. But there's always room for one more, and Jeffrey's schoolmarm was thrilled at the way he did it so cutely, draping a swastika on one side and the Stars and Stripes on the other, and putting in little plastic soldiers -- Nazi and American, though who can tell the difference, right? -- and then adding his own penetrating observations on both Bush (''Saddam had no affiliation with the Taliban'') and his predecessor as Fuhrer (''Hitler's own justification was his own hatred.'' Hmm. What a testament to the quality of Rhode Island's ''Social Studies'' curriculum).”

More here

France 2 and the death of Mohammed Al-Dura revisited

John Rosenthal writes The Trans-Atlantic Intelligencer. He works so hard, I get tired just watching him. He’s been on the Al-Dura story for quite some time and has a great deal of interest to report.

“As the famous images are shown, the voice-over of France 2 reporter Dominique Derda explains: “symbol of the Intifada, the image of the death throws of Mohammed Al-Dura was broadcast around the world.” In French, Derda speaks of the “agonie” of Mohammed Al-Dura. In such a context, the French word agonie clearly means death throws.”

Contrary to (segment producer) Enderlin’s declarations, however, Luc Rosenzweig, Denis Jeambar, and Denis Leconte – the three French journalists who were recently permitted to view the complete rushes in the presence of France2 news director Arlette Chabot – have revealed that the rushes do not contain any such scene of the boy’s death. To quote again Jeambar and Leconte: “These famous ‘death throws’ [agonie], which Enderlin claims to have cut from the report, do not exist.”

The absence of any scene documenting the child’s death in the rushes represents one of the major grounds that have emerged from the three journalists’ viewing of the rushes in support of the hypothesis that the alleged killing of Mohammed Al-Dura was staged. The other major revelation supporting this hypothesis is, of course, the presence in the remainder of the rushes of what Rosenzweig, Jeambar, and Leconte all concur were obviously staged episodes – or “mise-en-scène” – of other Palestinians being wounded.
In other words, France 2 personnel did not report on news, they ginned it up. That story became evidentiary rocket fuel for the like of the International Solidarity Movement to further fuel their hatred, and their role in widening the gulf between the Israelis and Palestinians. When one observes the actions, and not the statements of these groups, victory means no Israel. Bear in mind that ISM also harbored Palestinian insurgants, and has hid and stored weapons for them. They have been caught doing this on more than one occasion. It’s the complete opposite of their stated goal of aiding in a mediated peace.
Why does this matter? The France 2 construction is “evidence” to groups of this sort.

They are the lies which are used to seduce young Europeans and North-Americans into redirecting their lives into anger and hatred for Israel and the U.S., and getting them killed. More to the point, making impossible a safe, peaceful world that the svengalis of these groups purport to want.

Without misery these group leaders do not prosper, nor do they get to fill the empty cavity in their souls with this war they’re waging on their own nations of citizenship.
Without misery the France 2 personnel and stringer did have no reason invent news, and effectively get a child killed for their by-line.

Without the likes of malicious groups who call themselves “Peace” organizations, and the ideologically driven press hacks tossing them red meat, their victims, the Palestinians and the Israelis would be far better off if they were free of this meddling. Likewise the involvement of Jihadist which makes for even stranger company for "the peace collectives."

Fire them up. Send them off. They go and get another one killed. Then let her fellow concerned young leftist make her into a martyr, in effect pushing them one step closer to strapping on a bomb-vest themselves, and join the middle-eastern dealt cult.


Actually, that's not quite true.

The book It Is Forbidden to Forbid — on censorship and self-censorship, conscious and subconscious — is by Erick Dietrich and Stéphanie Griguer, but I do have one chapter in it, an appendix in the back, to be precise.

The 14-page text is akin to a synthesis of all the posts I have written over the past year and a half on the French media, the outlets of which nourish this country's ubiquitous anti-Americanism and which, in turn, are nourished by it — i.e., a never-ending viscious circle…

Click here to read more info about the book
and the (real) authors
(in French)…

Convergence: Damascus

As the days pass, the Syrian intelligence apparatus seems to look more and more responsible for killing fromer Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri.

Writes Dr. Michael Weinstein:

“Since the end of the civil war, Lebanon has been in great part a de facto protectorate of the Ba'athist regime in Damascus, whose military presence in the country has prevented a renewal of violent conflict, but has also guaranteed
Damascus' decisive influence in Lebanese politics. Throughout the time in which Syria has functioned as Lebanon's power broker, making sure that Beirut's leadership acquiesced in Damascus' interests, al-Hariri was the only politician with sufficient stature to allow Beirut to achieve a considerable degree of autonomy”

To be sure, the whacky-western-left is already taking sides based on their notion of who their ideological enemy is:
"Blood-sucking hebe organ thieves"

“One of Cheney's top Middle East advisors, David Wurmser, and Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith – both with strong ties to Israel's settler movement – contributed to papers in the 1990s that urged Israel and the United States to arm and finance groups in both Lebanon and Syria to force Damascus' withdrawal from Lebanon and destabilize the Ba'athist regime.”

“Others have suggested that Israel or their erstwhile allies in Lebanon, the Phalangist militia, may have been responsible, given the certainty that Syria would be blamed for the killing.”

[Erm… not quite, friend – why would they kill off the only powerful man who was willing to protect the Maronites. Note too that the Phalangists elements that weren’t absorbed into the Lebanese national military were dismantled and disarmed entirely. Their weapons were sold off to the Repiblika Srbska of all people.]

The Syrians, naturally as reflexively blaming their dues ex machina,
Israel, for the tragedy.
“Israel "continues to work to sabotage Lebanon's achievements to try to bring anarchy to the country…”
As such they’re tossing some red meat at the mob whose support they hope to retain. Aloud among the Iraqis who have to deal with insurgents, and in whispers in every village in Lebanon, the Syrians are losing hearts and minds.

Turkish DaffyBrochette de canard

A UN culture in which the free nations have met the thug states so much more than half way that they now share the dictators' view of their peoples

…as either helpless children who need every decision made for them, or a bunch of dupes whose national wealth you can reroute to your Swiss bank account, or a never-ending source of fresh meat…
It's a good basic axiom that if you take a quart of ice-cream and a quart of dog faeces and mix 'em together the result will taste more like the latter than the former
writes Mark Steyn in the Daily Telegraph.
That's the problem with the UN. If you make the free nations and the thug states members of the same club, the danger isn't that they'll meet each other half-way but that the free world winds up going three-quarters, seven-eighths of the way. Thus the Oil-for-Fraud scandal: in the end, Saddam Hussein had a much shrewder understanding of the way the UN works than Bush and Blair did.

… Now how about this? [America's] Third Infantry Division are raping nine-year olds in Ramadi. Ready, set, go! That thundering sound outside your window isn't the new IKEA sale, but the great herd of BBC/CNN/Independent/Guardian/New York Times/Le Monde/Sydney Morning Herald/Irish Times/Cork Examiner reporters stampeding to the Sunni Triangle. Whoa, hold up, lads, it's only hypothetical.

But think about it: the merest glimpse of a freaky West Virginia tramp leading an Abu Ghraib inmate around with girlie knickers on his head was enough to prompt calls for Rumsfeld's resignation, and for Ted Kennedy to charge that Saddam's torture chambers were now open "under new management", and for Robert Fisk to be driven into the kind of orgasmic frenzy unseen since his column on how much he enjoyed being beaten up by an Afghan mob …

But, if Lynndie's smashed to pieces our entire morality with just one tug, Bush's Zionist neocons getting it on with Congolese kindergarteners would have the Independent calling for US expulsion from the UN — no, wait, from Planet Earth: slice it off from Maine to Hawaii and use one of those new Euro-Airbuses to drag it out round the back of Uranus.

But systemic UN child sex in at least 50 per cent of their missions? The transnational morality set can barely stifle their yawns. If you're going to rape prepubescent girls, make sure you're wearing a blue helmet.

And at least the Pentagon put a stop to Abu Ghraib. As a UN official in Congo told the Telegraph yesterday: "The crux of the problem is that if the UN gets bolshie with these governments then they stop providing the UN with troops and staff."…

All this derives from a UN culture in which the free nations have met the thug states so much more than half way that they now largely share the dictators' view of their peoples — as either helpless children who need every decision made for them, or a bunch of dupes whose national wealth you can reroute to your Swiss bank account, or a never-ending source of fresh meat. …

(Thanks to Tom Pechinski)

Latin America's Condor Plan Turns Out to Have Been Not an Entirely Uncalled-for Turn to Violence Against Innocent and Harmless Idealists

Pablo asks our Spanish-speakers to check out his weblog, El Ibero Americano.

While we're on the subject (so to speak), it is interesting the way one discovers new truths in the damndest places. At the bottom of a page filled with articles on the green light for Pinochet's judgment, Paulo A. Paranagua provides us with a piece on John Dinges' investigation of the Condor plan.

Now, the hair of many people will rise on their heads if they believed that anyone — a blogger, a journalist, an author, anybody — were to even think of starting to defend what they call an operation of the basest, and darkest, of kinds.

And that was certainly neither the intention of Le Monde or Dinges. Still, neither seemed to be able to avoid the fact that

The [November 1975-created] 'Condor' plan was supposed to be an answer to the Revolutionary Cooordination Junta (RCJ), formed in August 1973 by the extreme leftist organizations of four countries: the People's Revolutionary Army (PRA, Argentina), the Movement of the Revolutionary Left (MRL, Chile), the Tupamaros (Uruguay), and the Army of National Liberation (ANL, Bolivia).

"The RCJ became a sort of revolutionary patron," writes John Dinges, "a sort of Rockefeller Foundation of the Marxist left", which managed and handed out money from kidnappings.

… "The military governments took the RCJ so seriously", explains John Dinges, "that they made it the primary target of the 'Condor' operation" by mixing non-violent opponents with guerilla fighters.

The author of The Condor Years goes on to say that
"The actual Condor 'operation' in and of itself was responsible for only a relatively small part of the line of assassinations and violence, but [and the following part constitutes the Monde article's title] the most serious and the cleanest break with a state of law".
Remember, one essential aspect of anti-Americanization, specifically, or, more generally speaking, demonization of an adversary, is to pretend that a certain policy was entirely gratuitious and without any provocation or other basis and that, in any event, the alleged opponents were basically harmless ideologues. Careful examination of the period often proves otherwise…

In related news, the Washington Times reports (gracias para RV) on this year's Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom:

As usual, a striking correlation between freedom and prosperity emerges. The data all point to incompetent or tyrannical government as the source of the world's economic ills. In our view, it's no coincidence that the places with the most tyranny and political turmoil are also the most troubled economically. …

That [data] should help put to rest the contention that liberalization means stagnation, as many have claimed about Latin America. In that region, mostly stagnant economic growth has mirrored mostly stagnant liberalization efforts — another non-coincidence, in our view. The country with the most free economy in the region, Chile, enjoyed a high growth rate, while the one that consigned freedom to the gulag, Cuba, and another heading in the wrong direction, Venezuela, both ended up with abysmal growth rates. In that regard, Cuba outdid itself. It was the only country in the world to place simultaneously among the 10 most repressed economies and the top 10 repression-heighteners simultaneously.

The troubling cases of African and Middle Eastern countries only prove the point further by showing how extensively repression and poverty go hand in hand. Six of the 10 most unfree economies and six of the 10 most-worsened countries are located in those regions. Not surprisingly, when plotted along x- and y-axes of increasing per capita GDP and increasing freedom, these countries are mostly clustered together down near the bottom of both scales, with some prominent Middle Eastern oil kingdoms the sole exceptions. Besides those, in these least democratic of regions, tyrannical governments or incompetent ones repress their peoples and economies, and the result is human misery and warfare on epic scales. As one indication, the report's "least free" list reads like some expanded "Axis of Evil" rundown, containing Iran, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Libya, Burma and North Korea, among others.

We hope readers of the economic freedom index take the latter facts to heart, since it's clear to us from the numbers that good things like economic and political freedoms go together. Repressive governments worldwide should take note.

Non-renewable Nerf Power

Mark Stober, writing in Tech Central Station deconstructs the EU's European Security Strategy. My suspition is that it is multi-lateral because it can be nothing else - from both a political and force standpoint. They have group-hugged themselves to the point that they can no longer act on the "better angels of their spirits".

There comes a time when words need to be backed up with force. The year that has gone by since the launch of the Security Strategy has shown that when the EU acts together with its allies it can be effective. But what happens when this is not achieved and the threat persists?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

"Letters to the Editor" — Why We Blog

Why am I so angry, asks Louis angrily of me in a first comment that the discontented reader left on one recent post. And, indeed, am I angry at all?
[For those who already have read this, his second comment is answered 12 paragraphs below.)

I wouldn't describe myself as angry, but let me say that the answer has to do with injustice, double standards, and the injustice of double standards.

I do not like the injustice of the French press covering the 60th anniversary of D-Day, while downplaying the contribution of the Americans, the foremost country involved in Western Europe's fighting from 1944 to 1945.

I do not like the injustice of covering the negative news in Iraq and totally ignoring not only the positive news but the views and emotions of the Iraqi people.

I do not like the double standards of attacking Bush on his every position (or absence thereof), often with vigor and while speaking loftily of principles, while having nothing to say about the shenanigans of the members of the peace camp or the United Nations.

I do not like the double standards of speaking with contempt and condescension of George W (while calling any attempt to bring some sensible arguments to the debate as being nothing less than asking "the entire French populace [to sign] a fealty oath to [that] frat-boy overlord") while having no emotions (bad or even mixed) about, or policies opposing, even slightly, Putin, Hu, Mugabe, and (last but not least) Saddam Hussein.

If you think that "dissatisfaction with U.S. policy in Europe and elsewhere is rarely, if ever, expressed with the belligerence and vitriol of the attacks on 'France' and the 'Euroweenies' from the American right", then I can only conclude that you are blind or seriously deluded. What you call "dissatisfaction" is like I said before, a mix of contempt, condescension, mockery, and arrogance, the kind of which is visible in your comment about that "frat-boy overlord George W" and which is likewise never (as I also just said) applied (including by yourself) to any other leader…

Yes, I do call such types of injustice and double standards anti-Americanism, and I find it hard for any individual to honestly conclude it is anything else. As it happens (and this'll make you laugh), I believe that "the belligerence and vitriol of the attacks on 'France' and the 'Euroweenies'" is related to, yes, Americans' greater sensibility. Greater devotion to justice and fairness and a greater sensibility to the absence thereof.

About seeing "anti-Americanism everywhere", a Swiss friend recently asked me if I didn't think I was exaggerrating with all my posts (and those of the other webmasters); I answered the truth: we don't invent anything or set anything up — we react to what we see, hear, and read in the media and in society, and if there is so much to react to, the fault can hardly be attributed to us.

As for the getting glances from women (French or otherwise), let me just say that I don't think I ever had much to complain about…

I will add that what you seem to be doing is applying the same tired tactic from people of the left, which is to make personal attacks, in your case calling supposed adversaries angry, paranoid, (sexually) frustrated, etc, not to speak of suggesting they can only be the vassals of Dubya

French-speakers (and -readers) can read a more developed explanation here.

Oh, and by the way, I already addressed the draft-age comment (along with attendant "enlist or shut up" spiel).

This answer brought up another message from Louis:

In this post you relate France's honoring of Americans with the Legion of Honor to anti-Americanism somehow. Why?
Because, like I said, when observing events, it is necessary to take a step back to get a larger view and put the events into context. When, for instance, you hear, or see, an autocrat say he is willing to cooperate in the hunt for WMD, you cannot just take this as proof of good faith and positive intentions, but you have to take into account whether (and how much) he has been cooperative in the past, whether he ever tried to build weapons of mass destruction in the past, whether he used same on his enemies, foreign or domestic, and how trustworthy he has shown himself to be. Trust, but verify. Sometimes one makes mistakes, but better safe than sorry…

Louis later claims that an American government official (Bush) is doing nothing more than putting on on "an act" — why can't it be said when (if) a French government official or decision is, from the face of it, an act?

Like I said, I was about to post the news item verbatim, until I remembered how the press covered the 60th anniversary of D-Day last summer (more below). And if it is fair for people and media outlets opposed to members of the Bush administration to point out inconsistencies in their speeches and deeds, is it not fair for me to add, from an objective point of view, how often French deeds turn out to have been self-serving? Is it not always said, "We are not against the American people, we are only against Bush"? Here, double standards prevail as well, because you obviously cannot be against the Chirac administration's foreign policy (or the general atmosphere prevailing at le quai d'Orsay) without being against France

Besides, aren't you always saying, "Vous croyez tout ce que l'on vous dit? Do you believe everything the officials say? Don't you know you shouldn't trust politicians? Don't you know that leaders are liars and treacherous?" It turns out that this skepticism and this cynicism should only and always be directed at Uncle Sam, because when countries opposed to Washington say, and/or do, what seems to be positive things, then this can only be taken as proof of their generous intentions and their openness and honesty. And any skepticism as to that is immediately rendered as acting with obsessive bitterness and in bad faith.

The so-called "French press" (aka, one article you read somewhere) hasn't exactly re-written history on D-Day.
The "one" article? This would seem to prove that you neither follow the French press nor our links (or that you minimize and relativize everybody's (mis)deeds, except those involving Uncle Sam). The general attitude, throughout the totality of the French press, from June to August and beyond (nary a word on the Battle of the Bulge), was a belittlement of the contributions of the Americans.

There may have been exceptions, but that was the general mood in all of France. And in any case, what little description of the Americans' heroism there was, was invariably compared unfavorably with Washington's foreign policy today.

Of course, I would hope that nobody has forgotten that in June 1964, President Charles de Gaulle refused to attend the ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the D-Day landings (a decision which one school textbook (!) heralded as his "spectacular" feat), n'est-ce pas?

(By the way, the French did participate in the advance on Nazi Germany — all French history books make a point of honor of pointing out that Gaullist France fought against the Nazis, at least in the last part of the war, and was one of the main four victors — and the French press did make a brouhaha about the Warsaw uprising (involving nobody but Poles, Germans, and Soviets); so do not simply brush away statements that the fighting at Bastogne being hardly mentioned in the French press is due only to a French absence in the campaign.)

They didn't exactly dynamite the museum at the Pointe du Hoc.
To the best of my knowledge, there is no museum at the Pointe du Hoc. I also note that (and this is typical in some european circles) in your eagerness to counter-attack and to depict me as a Bush-loving nut who is invariably anti-French (effectively trying to destroy my credibility), you deliberately ignore those of my comments which can only be described as positive ("I have never failed to put the failures of the French military — real or imagined, supposed defeats or the failure to even show up — mostly on the back of French politicians").
And if I recall it's in American conservative circles that I often heard the call to disinter and repatriate the American soldiers buried in France -- for what? Because De Villepin wanted to let the inspectors finish? Because France was opposed to an ill-conceived war, the rationale for which has been changed multiple times in the interim?
You put it so nicely: "De Villepin wanted to let the inspectors finish", "France was opposed to [a] war", ill-conceived or not. Which many others wanted and were. But what France, and Villepin did, was go far further in their words and their actions, and the entire population participated in the denigration not only of Bush (if not of America) but all his allies in the coalition of the willing, which became the poodles, the messenger boys, etc, etc… What you put so diplomatically was, rather, filled with condescension, castigation, and snobbishness.

This illustrious French writer says as much here (And this time, please follow the link, Louis — merci.) That condescending tone of voice and that attitude, in which France "transformed itself into an anti-American propaganda relay station" (and in which it voiced its contempt for its fellow EU members), I believe and unless I am mistaken, was what made certain Americans talk about repatriating the fallen of Normandy.

As for rationales changing multiple times, I would be a lot more sensitive to your arguments if you applied the same standards to the "peace camp". First, they oppose the United States because the war would cost tens of thousands of lives and go on for months while millions of refugees would starve as they lined the roads from Baghdad, the battle which could only turn into "Saddamgrad", a bloodbath comparable to Stalingrad; then, we knew all along Saddam had no WMD; then, the main goal of the crisis became to get the occupying foreign troops out; then, the entire Iraqi population was rising in resistance; then, Arabs and/or Muslims aren't capable of voting; then, what will we do if, as expected, the Shi'ites win the elections and won't America suffer for it; and now (my favorite), the new Iraqi government risks being too weak! And throughout it all, the line, "Ah oui, we predicted tragedy, we were right all along, you should have listened to us…"

Injustice? Hypocrisy? Of the European elite. Of the American administration. I only wish you were a little more balanced. I wish I understood what all the mockery of France was for, what you hope to accomplish. Is the French press exactly kind to Chirac?
With regards to foreign affairs, yes! Definitely! While most of the criticism you mention about Bush originates from within the United States and her media, hardly any of France's foreign policy originates there, and a conversation in which one doesn't give in to the Bush-bashers invariably ends with the knee-jerk reply calling the offender "anti-French" or otherwise clueless or fascistic (typical response: "Mais vous n'êtes pas pro-Bush, quand même?!")…
Why do you want so badly for me, or anyone else, to take George W. Bush seriously?
As it happens, I have written a post in which I argued that Bush may be be the worst politician in the world (thank you for following the hyperlink…)

No, Louis, I do not expect you to take Dubya seriously. I expect you to treat Dubya fairly. And not in his interest, but in yours. For you to rail about Dubya's sins, while ignoring (relatively speaking) those (often far worse) of, say, Chirac, Putin, Hu (an example here), Mugabe, the "peace camp", and Saddam Hussein himself is your loss, intellectually speaking, not Dubya's (or America's) and gives you, in my opinion, a skewered view of the world (one in which America and capitalism are always caricatured, always playing the role of the worst offenders and the most dangerous threats and in which it is always those who remain skeptical of this point of view and who point out the double standadrds involved who are charged with acting with obsessive bitterness and in bad faith)…

Electoral politics in America and France are equally craven.
Perhaps, but the media and the citizenry in America — contrary to the self-serving legend always circulating in Europe about goose-stepping media outlets and uncouth, clueless citizens — are far more willing to be critical, and far more likely to be aware of criticism which their leaders are facing. This in contrast to, say, the food-for-oil scandal and the business dealings of the "peace camp", which French citizens and media alike dismiss out of hand of being of little interest.
If you can willingly point out Chirac's vain and flatulent oratory, why can't you handle people mocking Bush's pseudo-populism and proud anti-intellectualism?
The point of No Pasaran, in my mind, is less to "point out Chirac's vain and flatulent oratory" than to point out a media, a populace, and a culture which is unwilling to challenge that oratory, at least when it concerns foreign policy, especially when that foreign policy entails opposing the big, bad bogeyman… I am all for people, pundits, and politicians mocking any American leaders' pseudo-populism (as I am all for their opposing wars), but not when it entails double standards (the type of which Revel describes here).
If he doesn't look a little ridiculous to you with his pandering cowboy act (and it is an act), AT LEAST as ridiculous as Chirac (and that's pretty ridiculous), then we don't live in the same universe.
Yes, Bush is the most ridiculous-looking politician in the world (except for…)
What's the purpose of all this? Why would you live there if it's all so contemptible to you? I love France. I love Paris now. I love how scared you are of the kids from the cites. I love going to concerts out there and hearing the newest hip-hop from the 94... maybe you just can't connect, and that's why you're afraid. I live in New York, in the shadow of terrorism every day, and I'm not scared. Is that the difference between us?
"What's the purpose of all this?" I answered in my previous comment: I do not like injustice and double standards. As I said before, you take comments based on objective observations and turn them into evidence of personal defects (anger, fear, frustration, paranoia, racism, mentally challenged, brainless, vassals, poodles, acting with obsessive bitterness and in bad faith, fascists, etc) while pointing out, indirectly, to your own courage and joie de vivre — a type of self-serving opinion which, incidentally, can be included in the very type of injustice and double standards this blog is determined to expose.

I will add this: I happen to consider that this blog, and the family of blogs that write in the same spirit (see the blogroll), are very fact-oriented, based on objective observations, and that opinions are not taken lightly. When W points out that the French media play the race card inappropriately (to say the least), he doesn't do so without good reason, and he argues, he shows, he demonstrates, he proves, so to speak, what leads him to say so.

In that perspective, what is extremely odd is that people like Louis, Thierry, Rémy, and anti remain largely absent from any type of debate — on issues central to the opposition to Bush such as this one — until something tendentious, or something that can be given a tendentious ring, comes up. Then they let loose, (and I don't mean to be rude), they all flock down, like vultures upon a carcass, as if they had passed the message around, and retreat to their places of hiding until the next ever-so-slightly tendentious piece comes up. It gives you the distinct impression that they do not visit blogs or browse the web to learn anything — indeed, they don't even live life to debate and learn anything new or for any intellectual challenges — they just act, and crusade, to defend their (self-serving) biases and preconceptions…

Michael Jordan and the American Way of Doing Things

Today is the birthday of Michael Jordan (1963- ), the American Basketball Player who said (the two top quotes seem especially destined for our European brethren and their governments):
I never looked at the consequences of missing a big shot... when you think about the consequences you always think of a negative result.

If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.

I never thought a role model should be negative.

I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying.

I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.

I realize that I'm black, but I like to be viewed as a person, and this is everybody's wish.

I've always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don't do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.

I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Satire is inadequate

Nuclear debutant uses the
wanker defense.


Must have been in honour of his valiant defense from
this amphibious attack.

Getting nowhere fast

Socialist management of reasearch and medicine can only produce mediocraty and shortfall which kill people.
Even for statist western Europe there are alternatives that have worked for nearly a century.

Bitch slapped by the Invisible HandPédaloïdes giflés comme de salopes par La Main Invisible
The power of free markets is displayed to Green pansies.
La puissance du marché libre est démontré pour des pédaloïdes Verts.

No linkage…

MEMRI TV Project special report - commander of Saddam Hussein's ‘Army of Muhammad’ confesses: We received money and arms from Syria and Iran. No linkage… no linkage… They also have an report on a Lebanese journalist regurgitating forged Nazi nonsense about the Franklin, Jefferson and the other founders of the American Constitution being Anti-Semetic. Never mind the fact that Benjamin Franklin lived 200 meters from the first synagogue in the North America.

Muslims at hate website celebrate murders of the Coptic family - don’t mind the man behind the curtain, there is no hatred here….

Go North - they have short memories...

Alain Juppé, (stop laughing!) discredited political moron, has been asked to teach in Quebec. They’re already very good at anything he could possibly teach them about sleazy politics.
Kevin Jaeger clues us in on the barely mentioned fact that he is being asked to teach at the ENAP (Ecole Nationale D’Administration Publique.)

Who owes who?, and for what?

Helle Dale opines on US-EU relations and EU arms sales to china. Doesn't the EU realize that they can only give away the farm ONCE? The fact that all the effective assets in the Iranian Navy and Air Force are Russian, French, and German should not be lost on President Bush as he travels to Europe to mend relations that the Euros made such a huge effort to sabotage.

"Europeans, however, have so far grudgingly agreed to dispatch a small number of trainers to help with the Iraqi police under NATO auspices, though where they will be allowed to conduct their instruction is still uncertain. The French government persists in the absurd opinion that the place cannot be Iraq.

"A far more meaningful gesture of good will would be for the EU to listen to American concerns over China's arms build-up, and to step back from a really
bad decision. Since the Tiananmen massacre in 1989, both the United States and the EU have had arms embargos in place against China (the American far more stringent than the European). It is the EU's plan to lift its embargo by June, according to EU Foreign Affairs High Commissioner Javier Solana.

Look up, say cheese

Iran accuses the US of using spy drones to spy on them. If that's really the case, fine... We still have these fine folks on the job since 1970.
As if one didn't need to keep an eye on the
whacky irregulars, the IIRG, who kidnapped British troops against the orders of the Iranian government.

Treffpunkt Mainz!

Go to Medienkritik Online or David's Medienkritik for more details.

Europe is on the fritzL'Europe est HS
There's no more signal.
Y a plus d'image.

The French people's dearest wishLe voeu le plus cher aux franchouilles
A "new attack" by terrorists inside the United States?
Une "nouvelle attaque" terroriste aux Etats-Unis?

Small Dead Animals more insightful than Canadian Liberals

Kate at SDA reports on the Canadian Al-Queda. Naturally the "humaninsts" are calling the detainee a mere child, never mind the actual weaponry he was toting around, of course... Or that our young friend would spend more time in the crowbar hotel if he was in posession of those same weapons in Canada itself.

reports on the Canadian Taliban most every day, shining a light on that leftist zombie called the Canadian print and broadcast media.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Little Green FootballsPetits ballons de foot verts
France 2 meets with Little Green Footballs. Watch out for well off leftists and other greens turned brown calling for censorship mesures.
Rencontre entre France 2 et Little Green Footballs. Il se peut qu'un gôchiste des beaux quartiers ou autre vert transcriptasié en brun tente d'imposer des mesures de censure.

A survivor’s story

One Lebanese woman’s harrowing tale of dealing with militant Islamism, learning how to break out of the mental trap of the most hateful propaganda campaign that any population has known since 1940's Berlin, and learning to judge people by their actions.

Watch the
entire thing.

She’s also entirely unashamed in her defense of

France to Honor Six Americans Who Risked All in Support of a French War in a Faraway Land

Allen L. Pope risked life and limb to fly CIA supply missions in 1954 to besieged French forces in what is now Vietnam
writes the AP.
But the thing he recounts most vividly is not the danger he faced. It's the bravery of the French troops.

"They never raised the white flag," he says. "There were men without hands, men without legs, men without feet, men that were blinded. They were catching hell."

They caught it at Dien Bien Phu, a cluster of villages in a valley ringed by mountains near the Laotian border. Communist rebels on higher ground pummeled the French with artillery in an epic battle that marked the end of French colonial rule in Indochina and foreshadowed the U.S. experience in Vietnam.

Next week, nearly 51 years after the fall of Dien Bien Phu, the seven surviving American pilots who braved those perilous skies — but later were essentially disowned by the CIA — will be awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, or Legion of Honor, France's highest award for service.

Six of the seven will gather at the official residence of French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte for a ceremony to commemorate an important chapter in the history of U.S.-French relations.

"It's a nice gesture on their part," says Douglas R. Price, a Rockville Centre, N.Y., native who was 29 years old when he flew 39 airdrop missions to Dien Bien Phu in April and May 1954 as a civilian employee of Civil Air Transport, a flying service whose undeclared owner was the CIA [later succeeded by Air America].

"There has been a lot of friction between the governments lately," he said, alluding to the leading role France played in opposing the Bush administration's decision to go to war in Iraq. "Maybe they're making a gesture, hoping that they can get things back together again."

I almost posted this without comment (merci à Toto), because I didn't want to spoil the party. (I didn't feel there was a party to spoil, and I have never failed to put the failures of the French military — real or imagined, supposed defeats or the failure to even show up — mostly on the back of French politicians.)

But then I remembered the GIs of World War II who, also they, have been the recipients of — well-deserved — honors and citations many times in the past, in France as elsewhere.

That did not prevent the anti-Americanism of the Chirac administration, nor the French press from following the Chirac administration and report on the 6oth anniversary of D-Day with accounts in which America's contributions were downplayed and/or ignored.

Gestures are nice, as is symbolism, but they — and it — should never be subjected to the policies of and politicians and administrations or to la raison d'État. Especially when they involve men going to combat and putting their life and limbs at risk.

A Few Bad Men Might Be Preferable…

In view of the fact that the lucid and solidary humanitarians of Europe are always waxing on about how members of the Bush administration are the devil incarnate, it is not a bad idea to remember that today is the birthday of Henry Adams, the man who said
It is always good men who do the most harm in the world
The American writer and historian (1838-1918)  also may have explained Americanism in some of the following quotes:
Absolute liberty is absence of restraint; responsibility is restraint; therefore, the ideally free individual is responsible to himself.

Morality is a private and costly luxury.

American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.

As for America, it is the ideal fruit of all your youthful hopes and reforms. Everybody is fairly decent, respectable, domestic, bourgeois, middle-class, and tiresome. There is absolutely nothing to revile except that it's a bore.

It is impossible to underrate human intelligence — beginning with one's own.

25 = 1 = No accountability

Diplomatic immunity extended to Eurocrats. If they are “one union” or “one nation, and civil servants, why are they given super-national privileges, ask the Telegraph?

What the Government describes as "a small, technical and non-controversial" Bill now being nodded through Parliament will give the equivalent of diplomatic immunity to the employees of a range of "international organisations", mostly organs of the EU. The "privileges and immunities" it grants will be enjoyed not just by staff members of these bodies, but by all members of their families and "households".
Although questioning of this curious Bill has been led by a tireless Eurosceptic, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, it has raised the eyebrows of even such a committed Europhile as Lord Wallace of Saltaire. He was surprised to discover that, since his wife is a director of the Robert Schuman Centre, part of the European University Institute, he will share her "immunity from domestic taxation" and other privileges, as her "dependent spouse".
The danger of this Bill, according to Lord Wallace, is that it will create "two classes of people – those of us who are subject to domestic law and pay our taxes and parking fines, and an increasing number of people who do not".
In response to a question from Lord Pearson, the Government itself only named 28, ranging from the European Railways Agency and the European Plant Variety Office to the European Monitoring Centre for Racism and Xenophobia, although the Foreign Office concedes that its list will have to be updated "as new bodies are added".
What the Foreign Office would never explain, however, is how these fast-proliferating organs in many ways now represent the true government of our country. Just why therefore the privilegents that works for them should be granted the immunities traditionally accorded to diplomats of a foreign power…

- obrigado,
John Ray.

CBS news: countdown to implosionle JT de CBS: compte à rebours jusqu'à l'implosion
The rats are leaving the sinking ship. Rather pitiful.
Les rats fuient le navire. Qu'ils pissent du sang par tous les trous.

As predictable as catching VD in Ibiza

Commenters on Aljazeera's website are already suggesting that Rafik Hariri was knocked offed by the Mossad and/or the CIA... What next, saying that Chuck Barris did it?!?

c i a at work people. looks like the u s are not so happy with lebanon's refusal to kicking out the s yr ians. the u s is looking to light the fire once more. but i am positive that lebanon won't get dragged into this. the u s should focus more on its internal affairs and get out of other people's.
-Jess from Egypt

Now if only ‘Jess’ could spell. Or think. There has been no request by the U.S. or "refusal" to kick out the Syrians, becuase the Lebanese Government CAN'T. They are being threatened and coerced by the Assad regime, idiot boy. See - the evil US is doing all of this. No-one else is ever responsible....
Even better was one e-mail that the BBC World Service read over the air - the writer suggested that Syria will leave Lebanon when the US leaves Iraq. Not only was the beeb goofy enough to read it, but the writer doesn't seem aware that Syria has had their Military and Intelligence apparatus in Lebanon since 1975.

Socialism: where's the beef?Socialisme: de la poudre aux yeux

Seen in the current issue of 'L'Imbécile'.
Vu dans le numéro actuel de 'L'Imbécile'.

Tolerance will be the death of the WestTolérance, l'Occident va en mourrir
Kill faster. Total war.
Tuer plus vite. Guerre totale.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

English proficiency test as anti-American rant

Via Normblog: English proficiency test as an anti-American rant
Could you imagine the outrage if anyone in the US did such a thing? No less a Univeristy?

If the Dutch would only learn from their

Fred Reed on the incoherent Maureen Dowd

"Actually, what men very much do not want is to marry Mommy. The problem for Maureen is that she is Mommy: censorious, moralizing, self-pitying, endlessly instructive, and so achingly tedious that men find themselves thinking of moldy bath sponges. I have never seen her and don’t know how old she is. She may be twenty-three, radiantly gorgeous, and have seven husbands. She writes as if she were fifty, a tad overweight and, having grossly overestimated her value in the meat market, missed the train."

Fred Reed has also made the obersvation that many of Dowd's readers heve - she can't write, and just doesn't make sense most of the time.

allah ih'rimu

Rafik Hariri, 1944-2005, Former Prime Minister of Lebanon

Like the bravest and boldest Lebanese who tried to cut through the dark cloud of paranoia, feudalism, terror, and oppression, his life was cut short by those who love death more than life.

The Kind of Frenchman the Country Loves

Between Le Monde and the International Herald Tribune, there have been quite a lot of interesting articles in the recent past.

Henri Tincq has a piece on Jean-Marie Lustiger, Cécile Hennion goes back to the 1940s to write about the prospects for an independent Kurdistan, while Rick Smith dwells on how Sept. 11 has made Arabic the language of choice for a new generation of ambitious diplomats and academics across the world.

While Stéphanie Maupas devotes a full-page article to the hunt for war criminals (under the auspices of the Tribunal pénal international pour l'ex-Yougoslavie (TPIY), Frank Salvato has some interesting words about the Real Atrocities of Abu Ghraib on CNSNews.

Incidentally, it took Le Monde 10 days to mention the death of Max Schmeling.

But what is most interesting (and most illuminating) is Le Monde's portrait on the Elf scandal's Alfred Sirven, in which Hervé Gattegno and Pascale Robert-Diard call the late businessman (he passed away Saturday)

a totally French person. In any case, one of those characters whom the country loves, blustering and rogueish, slipping from the Republic's official palaces to its prisons, throughout a life started with heroism — the Resistance at 17, volunteering for the Indochina and Korean wars — fallen into banditry at 25 — the hold-up of a bank in Japan in 1952 — and pursued in the largest French companies until the pinnacle and the fall, at Elf-Aquitaine.

May explain quite a bit, hein?