Saturday, April 16, 2005
Quelle Europe voulons-nous ?
par Chantal Delsol
Philosophe, professeur à l'université de Marne-la-Vallée. Dernier ouvrage paru, Matin rouge (Presses de la Renaissance).
Vous me demandez quelle Europe je veux ? C'est risqué. On accepte bien un référendum, mais à condition que tous veuillent l'Europe et que tous veuillent la même Europe. C'est la nouvelle manière démocratique, à la façon Tocqueville quand il prophétise les perversions démocratiques.
Je voudrais une Europe qui n'ait pas peur de son ombre. Où est son ombre ? Dans son passé, qui la suit et l'habite comme il habite toute chose humaine, mais dont elle aimerait se débarrasser : l'Europe rêve de ressembler à ce héros qui avait perdu son ombre, et marchait sur le vide vertigineux de son absence de définition. L'Europe a des caractéristiques. Elle est grecque et romaine, elle est chrétienne, elle est moderne. Tout cela forme un monde. L'Europe n'est pas ce personnage sans qualité qu'elle croit être, elle n'est pas l'universel en marche auquel toutes les cultures devraient s'identifier. Elle porte sa particularité, elle aussi, c'est une gloire et une croix, elle est incarnée, donc pesante, donc tentée par les conflits. Elle n'est pas, comme l'a dit un de nos gouvernants, «aussi musulmane que chrétienne», rhétorique nauséeuse où l'on veut nous faire croire que nous ne serions, finalement, rien. Une Europe qui craint de se nommer ne m'intéresse pas. L'anonyme c'est le bandit caché, la bête qui fait l'ange, l'imposteur. Seul Dieu peut conserver l'anonymat sans s'y perdre. L'Europe n'est pas un dieu. Mais un groupe de peuples liés par un destin qui se décrit.
Je voudrais une Europe qui accepte sa propre diversité : nous en sommes loin. On brandit ce souhait comme une incantation : la diversité est à la mode à condition qu'elle reste folklorique et sans poids, le bon mot d'un enfant. On fait le contraire depuis si longtemps. Il n'est pas normal que dans un ensemble démocratique, les lois communes soient si nombreuses et prennent de plus en plus de place. Le principe de subsidiarité a été brandi à l'envi, pour faire chic, mais il ne peut être appliqué, pour une raison simple : il a été, aussitôt saisi par les instances européennes, transformé en principe d'efficacité, c'est-à-dire en un principe jacobin, donc retourné en son contraire.
Tous les textes nous disent qu'une autorité supérieure doit intervenir si elle se trouve plus compétente et plus capable. La subsidiarité réclame que l'autorité supérieure intervienne dans le seul cas où l'autorité inférieure est insuffisante. Dans un ensemble décentralisé, c'est-à-dire vraiment démocratique, l'autonomie de chaque groupe compte comme valeur immatérielle, même s'il est moins bien gouverné par lui-même que par un corps d'experts venus de plus haut.
L'Europe n'a pas compris cela. Elle tente d'établir de l'Atlantique à la Baltique une vaste république à la française, caractérisée par son centralisme et son opacité. A ce prix, je préfère que la France soit seule à conserver ce système irréel et inefficace (dont elle se débarrassera quand elle en aura épuisé les délices et les poisons), mais qu'elle n'aille pas l'imposer aux autres.
Je voudrais une Europe tolérante. Ah ! la belle banalité. Quel mot éculé, qui traîne après lui la poussière des siècles et ne dit plus rien que d'évident à nos oreilles lasses. Pas si évident, pourtant. Et même de moins en moins. Une Europe tolérante serait celle qui se mettrait elle-même en jeu et en cause, caractéristique de l'esprit libre. A l'inverse, elle s'impose avec la certitude d'un théorème mathématique.
La campagne électorale présente rappelle sur ce point l'atmosphère de celle de Maastricht : votez oui, sinon vous êtes des demeurés, des imbéciles sans cerveau. J'ai entendu, a dit récemment notre président de la république avec un étonnement douloureux, que certains voulaient voter non... eh oui, monsieur le Président, cela s'appelle le pluralisme et, d'un point de vue institutionnel, cela s'appelle la démocratie. Cela signifie que les réponses aux questions qui se posent n'appellent pas des vérités certaines, mais des opinions, qui sans doute ne se valent pas, mais on le sait rarement au moment même. Voilà pourquoi on tolère la diversité des points de vue. Votez oui, sinon ce sera l'apocalypse. Alors pourquoi organiser un vote ? Pour la parade ? Pour la bonne conscience ?
A dire vrai j'en ai assez de voir ceux qui ne pensent pas comme-il-faut-penser être jugés comme des crétins des Alpes, et jusqu'aux Carpates. L'habitude est très française de considérer le peuple comme une masse de débiles légers : voyez comment on nous apprend qu'un inspecteur des impôts a jeté par hasard à la poubelle les dossiers de plusieurs personnalités politiques parmi les plus prestigieuses. Mais je n'ai pas envie que cette coutume se répande chez les autres, qui ont encore des habitudes plus saines. Je ne veux pas d'une Europe où celui qui voit l'homosexualité comme un péché est immédiatement ostracisé après un passage à tabac verbal. Finalement, comme dans certains régimes pas recommandables, ici le non-conformisme est une maladie mentale. Je suis effarée de voir de quelle manière on nous balade à propos de la Turquie, promettant des référendums pour dans mille ans, quand on aura eu le temps de tout boucler pour devancer les réticences de peuples ignares et ploucs.
Il y en a qui font des pétitions au nom des intelligents (ce qui justement confirme mon propos). Je parle au nom des imbéciles, je suis l'un d'eux, et, en ayant assez de voir mon opinion traitée comme un symptôme psychiatrique dans un continent qui en même temps se prétend démocrate, je voterai non au référendum. Ce sera la première fois dans ma vie, car j'aime l'Europe d'un grand amour déçu, mais pas désespéré. Cela ferait reculer l'Europe que de voter non ? Et alors ?
Je ne souhaite pas avancer vers le despotisme éclairé, qui n'a jamais éclairé personne (Jacques Delors lui-même a déclaré, dans un discours à Strasbourg, que l'Europe s'avançait vers le despotisme éclairé, et je ne fais que citer son expression). Les imbéciles me paraissent un peu trop nombreux. C'est louche. Comme les Indiens, dont on croyait qu'ils n'avaient pas d'âme, eux aussi ont peut-être un esprit. En tout cas ils doivent bien avoir un honneur. Cela ne fait défaut à personne. Et c'est assez pour qu'ils puissent s'exprimer.
"There are some things for which we should display no tolerance," says Denmark's Queen Margrethe II
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II warned against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Denmark and the world in a new book out, saying people must on occasion "show their opposition to Islam"writes the AFP (mange tak til Gregory Schreiber). Incidentally, it is the Queen's (65th) birthday today.
"It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and very lazy," she said in the authorized biography "Margrethe" written by journalist Annelise Bistrup.
While she did not specifically refer to fundamentalism, she spoke of "these people for whom religion is their entire lives".
"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance," she said.
"And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction," added the queen, who has reigned since 1972 …
Friday, April 15, 2005
Punk kids chasing tractors = dogs chasing cars
Cat destroys homes, but Kubota can’t?
In another case of acutely misplaced emotional projection, years of leftists protesting against the existence of the Caterpillar Corporation continues. It isn’t even an extension of the “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people logic”… it’s even sillier.
They are protesting against a company that makes vehicles and equipment for agricultural, construction, and civil engineering because the some of the people they sell them to use them in a military application.
So they protest the practices of the Israelis Defense Forces by protesting at the Caterpillar plant because it’s a short bus ride from Chicago.
The pain of their stupidity must be agonizing.
Stuck at the intellectual level of 2-year-olds in high chairs throwing food
any calls for leftist professors and students to take free speech "sensitivity" training as they would if the same incident happened to a liberal speakercomplains Patrick X. Coyle, as he discusses
a typical tactic of campus leftists. They always create an excuse in an attempt to cancel an event or silence ideas they dislike. They purport our events' promotional materials to be "offensive" or that the event is held on the wrong date. These complaints only underscore the left's insecurities. On most college campuses, liberal speakers and events dominate campus life and they want to keep their monopoly even if they trample on students' free speech rights.This is not dissimilar to the openness of debate in Europe, be it inside universities or without.
Because the tactic didn't work as desired, in this case, they resorted to another.
Meanwhile, another food-attack victim (because, yes, that is what we're talking about), Ann Coulter, waxes ironically about
Liberals [who] enjoy claiming that they are intellectuals, thrilled to engage in a battle of wits. This, they believe, distinguishes them from conservatives, who are religious fanatics who react with impotent rage to opposing ideas.Ann ends with a sentence that could be applied to many an intellectual, a leader, a member of the élite, and a citizen of Europe (not to speak of many of the people leaving messages in the comments section of this website):
As one liberal, Jonathan Chait, put the cliché in The New Republic: Bush is an "instinctive anti-intellectual" and his administration hostile to "fact-driven debate." In a favorable contrast, Clinton is "the former Rhodes scholar who relished academic debates. "Showing his usual reverence for fact-checking, The New York Times' Paul Krugman says the Republican Party is "dominated by people who believe truth should be determined by revelation, not research."
I'm not sure how these descriptions square with the fact that liberals keep responding to conservative ideas by throwing food.
… On March 29, liberals' intellectual retort to a speech by William Kristol at Earlham College was to throw a pie. On March 31, liberals enjoyed the hurly-burly of political debate with Pat Buchanan at Western Michigan University by throwing salad dressing. On April 6, liberals engaged David Horowitz on his ideas at Butler University by throwing a pie at him.
…If there had been that many attacks on Muslims in the weeks following the 9/11 attack, we'd still be watching Showtime specials about it.
But these Rhodes scholar geniuses with a taste for "fact-driven debate" can't even achieve the level of argument practiced by the average juvenile delinquent. They're stuck at the intellectual level of 2-year-olds in high chairs throwing food.
|Even a 'maybe' would be good for the US||Même un 'peut-être' serait bon pour les Etats-unis|
|Chiraq says that voting 'no' to the EU Constitution will help the US. His opponents claim that voting 'yes' to the EU Constitution will help the US.||Chirak prétend que le 'Non' à la constitution de l'UE apporte un soutien aux Etats-unis. Ses opposants déclarent que le 'Oui' à la constitution sera favorable aux Etats-unis.|
Chirac's Greatest Political Failing and What He Really Fears Should the French Reject the EU Constitution
French electors will vote for or against the ratification of the "Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe" on May 29th. Their debates farcically repeat one of the features of the French Revolution. That tragedy was ignited when the ministers of King Louis XVI, when calling for elected representatives to discuss financial and constitutional reforms, simultaneously invited the French people to submit lists of their complaints. As Simon Schama’s history explained, while some of the resulting lists of grievances were compatible with liberal reformers’ vision of a modern France "shaking off restrictions like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis," others clearly and more ominously showed a fearful desire "to return to the cocoon" of "a mythical France, governed by an all-seeing, just and benign monarch."In other words, it's all a matter of appearances — as so much of the so-called "debate" in old Europe really turns out to be…
…Chirac did not [answer the question of the signs pointing to the Constitution's insignificance], because to do so would have required that he abandon his long-established practice of playing to fears of "ultraliberalism" (the evils of which he has recently and completely irresponsibly compared to communism). In his television special — which had been postponed because of the Pope’s funeral — he repeated to his worried guests Karol Woltyja’s injunction: "Be not afraid." Yet … Chirac readily agreed with the sympathetic (and planted?) questioners who tried to counter French fears about economic competition from the new eastern European member states by pointing to similar (and in the event unfounded) fears when Spain and Portugal joined the EU in 1986. But he avoided drawing the conclusion that political and economic freedom is the best way to promote prosperity, for that would have made his defense of the Constitution sound like a defense of that detested monster, "Anglo-Saxon liberalism." The "conservative" Chirac’s fanning rather than trying to diminish French fears of this monster is perhaps his greatest political failing.
…Chirac himself might even secretly believe that France’s interests would be served by a rejection of the Constitution. However, he gave his Elysée audience and television viewers a dire warning about France’s fate if the Constitution is rejected by the French electorate: "At least for a certain time France will cease to exist politically in the heart of Europe." Clearly this "boomerang" effect is what Chirac has in mind not for France and for himself, but for Tony Blair and the UK. If the Constitution — perhaps for good reasons — is to be rejected, Chirac would much prefer that the United Kingdom (with its referendum in 2006), or failing that then Poland, become the "black sheep" of Europe by voting against it. That would make it more possible for France to work with Germany and a few others on reviving the importance of the "hard core" (oldest) EU members.
|For drunken antics to make the papers in Belfast, they've got to be bad||Pour qu'on parle de bitures à Belfast, c'est dire si c'était spectaculaire|
|French behaving badly? No, just a normal French family get-together.||Des franchouilles qui ne se tiennent pas? Pas du tout, il s'agit d'une réunion familale typiquement fwançaise.|
Actually, What Leonardo Said Was That…
Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.
Common Sense is that which judges the things given to it by other senses.
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.
Although nature commences with reason and ends in experience it is necessary for us to do the opposite, that is to commence with experience and from this to proceed to investigate the reason.
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.
He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.
Human subtelty will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous.
I have offended God and mankind because my work didn't reach the quality it should have.
Lebanon - 30 years on
When will Hizballah disarm?
Michael J. Totten:
«Exactly 30 years ago Palestinians attacked a church. Radical Christians retaliated with a massacre on a bus. And so began Lebanon's plunge into the hell of civil war that pulverized the city center to powder and carved the rest of Beirut (and the rest of the country) into besieged ethnic cantons ruled by militias.»
Geh weg junge Mec Go West Young Mec
«As French leftist intellectuals and chauvinistic cultural warriors demonize America and disparage capitalism, they are finding an increasing number of their top scientists and entrepreneurs are departing for America [FT: subscription required] to fulfill their ambitions. A growing number of biotech companies are fleeing the country since they cannot raise funds in France; and this is a reflection of the broader frustration about the widening gap with the US in research and development spending.»
- Vielen Dank, El Stevo.
|The West is the best|
|You just get here, we'll do the rest.|
|Arabian Nights||Les Nuits de l'Orient|
|Paris. Its backrooms and its Wahhabites.||Paris. Ses backrooms et ses wahhabites.|
|'One size fits all' foreign policy, now a 'one size fits all' electoral policy||La politque étrangère prêt-à-porter, désormais une politique de campagne électorale prêt-à-porter|
|Across-the-board anti-Amercanism is alive and well in the run-up to the referendum on the EU Constitution. Both sides are brandishing the US as a prop to get votes for their side.||L'anti-américanisme universel a le vent en poupe juste avant le referendum sur le Constitution de l'UE. Le OUI et le NON agitent l'épouvantail de l'USA en vue de ramasser des voix pour leur camp.|
|Keep on truckin'||Guide du connard|
|One French blowhard blogger recently did the safe-consensual-standard U.S. capitalist bashing by labelling Microsoft as 'evil'. Of course, there are 'evil' companies in France. Companies that bully their employees and run roughshod over competitors and suppliers alike. Even as they hide behind a cuddly touchy-feely PR image. You just have to know where to look for them.||Une baudrouche de bloggeur franchouille a récemment adopté l'attitude consensuelle-prêt à porter-ô combien sans risque en déclarant que Microsoft représentait 'le Mal'. Bien entendu, il y a également des sociétés franchouilles qui représentent 'le Mal'. Des sociétés qui tordent le bras à leurs collaborateurs et malmènent la concurrence aussi bien que leurs fournisseurs. Et tout ceci en se cachant derrière un aura de sensibilité zhumaniste pondu par des pédaloïdes dans une boîte de com'. Il suffit de savoir où les chercher.|
Thursday, April 14, 2005
I’m sure the feeling is mutual
Sgrena Incident Update: Troops Cleared
Via Power Line comes this report from the New York Post.
«The car was about 130 yards from a checkpoint when the soldiers flashed their lights to get it to stop. They fired warning shots when the car was within 90 yards of the checkpoint, but at 65 yards, they used deadly force. Calipari was killed and Sgrena wounded.»
Plainly speaking, they acted within the rules of engagement that Calipari probably understood but did not practice just that once.
Will the European press be reporting it? It's still early days.
Lie back and think of the U.N.
John Bolton is being beaten into an apologetic state. But for what?
Thinking for himself?
One lefty scribbler went to great pains to point out his tough love approach to the U.N. is not the right way to treat the institution one is to serve. Have you found the stupidity trap yet? His Excellency is there to serve the U.S. government at the U.N., not to serve a U.N. which has it in for the U.S.
One E.U., one U.N.S.C. seat. Not two, and certainly not a future with 3 for 300 million people especially when a billion Indians have none or one.
How hard is that to understand?
With an overemphasis on the "good life", a commitment to human freedom is likely to be attenuated, too weak to make sacrifices in its name
"European man has convinced himself that in order to be modern and free, he must be radically secular," [George Weigel writes in The Cube and the Cathedral]. "That conviction and its public consequences are at the root of Europe's contemporary crisis of civilizational morale."…
Practicing Christianity in Europe today enjoys a status not dissimilar to smoking marijuana or engaging in unorthodox sexual activities — few people mind if you do so in private, but you are expected not to talk about it or ask others whether they do it too. Christianity is considered retrograde and atavistic in a "progressive" society devoted to the good life — long holidays, short work hours and generous government benefits.
…Without a religious dimension, Mr. Weigel notes, a commitment to human freedom is likely to be attenuated, too weak to make sacrifices in its name. Europe's political elites especially, but its citizens as well, believe in freedom and democracy of course, but they are reluctant to put the "good life" on hold and put lives on the line when freedom is in need of a champion — say, in the Balkans or, especially, in Iraq. (Mr. Weigel is at pains to emphasize, however, that his analysis is not born of disenchantment over European popular opposition to the Iraq war.)
The good of human freedom, by European lights, must be weighed against the risk and cost of actually fighting for it. It is no longer transcendent, absolute. In such a world, governed by a narrow utilitarian calculus, sacrifice is rare, and churches go unvisited.
France, Her Républicains, and Her Republican Values
Whenever French politicians insist on their dedication to democratic values, they proudly declare themselves to be 'republican' — a word which has taken on so many meanings it has become almost meaninglesswrites Graham Tearse, the editor of Expatica France, as he discusses the "republican values" (valeurs républicaines) that are ubiquitous in the speeches of France's political life.
La république variously alludes to the French as a nation, France as a country, French institutions or even its government — but rarely the political system of a republic, which France shares for example, and one is tempted to add 'unwittingly', with the United States.Indeed, polls on accountability and corruption regularly show that the kingdoms of Scandinavia, say, have far more of the former and far less of the latter than republics such as France and Italy.
Privilege and abuse of power are, to varying degrees, elements of everyday life in every country in the world. George W Bush and Tony Blair have done their best to discredit the theory that political democracies constantly evolve towards the eradication of abuse of power, while in France there is a pretence that it has long been legislated out of the system.
The notion of the republic and republicanism is of course rooted in the French Revolution of 1789, when one of the world's most powerful royal families had their heads chopped off, supposedly to usher in a society based on liberté, égalité, fraternité.
Instead, it actually led to a continuation of the same, in a different guise. Republican titles, like Monsieur le Maire or Monsieur le Ministre, replaced those of the nobility — even to the degree that former prime ministers and presidents, the nouveaux monarchs, are for life addressed by the title of their temporary and briefly-elected position.
This tradition becomes more than a little comical in the case of former French president Valérie Giscard d'Estaing, predecessor to François Mitterrand and the man more recently tasked with drawing up the European Union constitution; snobbery motivated Giscard's family into changing its common name by grafting on the noble-sounding "d'Estaing". Thus the one-time president of the republic carries in pretence what was once the name of a French noble family.
The irony of it all is that Giscard's family aspired to gain the social respectability of the hundreds of once-noble, but still mainly elite, families — identifiable by the particule of 'de' something or other — and who include that of President Jacques Chirac's wife Bernadette.
The endemic corruption in French institutions, as illustrated by a decade of judicial investigations and press revelations concerning the most astounding abuses of power in a western democracy, has flourished under a society so based on power and favour that Marie-Antoinette herself would not have felt out of place had she been re-incarnated as, say, former Socialist prime minister Edith Cresson.
Cresson served under Mitterrand, whose own disturbing confusion about the validity of democratic accountability saw him dubbed 'The Sun King'. As with all French presidents, Mitterrand engaged vast sums of public money building memorials in advance to his self-perceived glory, like the library which carries his name, in the same style as the ancient kings of France. In the case of Mitterrand, the circle was drawn with his building of the pyramid in the former royal palace that was once the Louvre.
While it may seem obvious that having a monarch as head of state, as opposed to an elected politician, is essentially un-democratic, it is unfortunate that a country like France maintains a popular myth that the 18th century storming of the Bastille has left it in 2005 with institutions as accountable as those of, say, Sweden.
What is important is that a nation recognises democratic principles as its own and tackles the storm of change with these unfaltering convictions, and not as slogans to be used for political expediency. It's often not an easy process, and it only survives through debate, through consultation, with an equal dose of modesty and respect for others.
The defiant cry of "je suis un républicain!" appears to have as much meaning as "a length of rope", and we all know what can happen when you have too much of that.
|Zeropean Union death spiral||Le plongeon de la mort de l'Union zéropéenne|
|It has begun. This is going to be a long, messy, confused process. When it's over I'll be proud to look back and say it all started in France and I was there.||C'est le départ. Ce sera un processus plutôt long, bordélique, et alambiqué. Quand ce sera terminé je serai fier de me rappeler que tout ça avait commencé en Fwance et que j'y étais.|
|Free speech ...||Libre parole ...|
|.. as long as you insult Americans and threaten Jews. Slam poetry comes to Paris.||... tant que c'est pour insulter les américains et menacer les juifs. La poésie Slam débarque à Paris.|
Annie Sullivan on Newspapers
The truth is not wonderful enough to suit the newspapers; so they enlarge upon it, and invent ridiculous embellishments.If you want to see an outstanding film, I strongly recommend The Miracle Worker.
Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.
People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.
We all like stories that make us cry. It's so nice to feel sad when you've nothing in particular to feel sad about.
My heart is singing for joy this morning! A miracle has happened! The light of understanding has shone upon my little pupil's mind, and behold, all things are changed!
Just go on strike again already!
The BBC is parroting non-economic thought on Economics. The EU is telling the US to reduce its” trade deficit without understanding where their trade surplus comes from. A 5 percent of GDP trade defecit IS the exportation of wealth that luvvies keep asking for.
Want to know what the reverse looks like? Well it’s how you get a poor Africa, for one thing. It is an EXTRACTION of wealth without the trade and development benefit – all through nit-picking, reams of rules, and tariffs.
Their problem is that they don’t always take control of it through the drip-drip of endless guilt-tripping. As you can see this is not a new story. Even in 2003 it was a stale old story.
Ahhh! They must mean China and the developing world!
Think of it this way - the EU wants to US to terminate the only proven aid and development measure that has ever proven to work. Apparently starving peasants living in huts is charming, a poke in the eye to the accomplishment-minded, and oh-so okey-dokey to the shortsighted, visionless, avaricious twits in Brussels.
America's Next Ambassador to Paris and His Outlook on Diplomacy
In nominating Craig Roberts Stapleton as the next ambassador to Paris, President George W. Bush is sending a self-described risk-taker and straight-shooter to handle one of the most delicate and important U.S. diplomatic missionswrites Brian Knowlton in the International Herald Tribune. Notice how, in the following paragraph, the New York Times-owned newspaper puts, as usual, the brunt of the responsibility for bad (or deteriorating) relations on Uncle Sam. Deteriorating relations due to the acid and ugly comments of do-nothing, unengaged spectators doing their criticizing from the safety of their cozy living rooms.
If the Senate confirms him to the much-coveted Paris post — a process expected to go smoothly — Stapleton will have key responsibility for nursing back to health the U.S.-French relationship, which is still haltingly recovering from the strains of the Iraq war.The strains of the Iraq war. While Americans ands their allies acted, and bled, in the deserts of Mesopotamia, what, might it be asked, did the Iraq war ever strain among peace camp members, except their desire to successfully oppose Uncle Sam, as well as their high-falutin' ideals (and pocketbooks) according to which, if only everybody (democrats and dictators alike) got together to converse in a talk shop, a way might be found in which the whole world would come together as one? Gratefully, Stapleton will not be one of those Americans who sucks up to his foreign hosts by putting the basic blame af all problems on America.
…In an interview in 2003, as Stapleton was about to leave [the Prague embassy] for the United States to help with Bush's re-election … he linked himself to a tradition of more "free-spirited" American ambassadors who do not always fit traditional molds.Strangely, the electronic edition of the IHT article ends with (a slightly differently-worded edition of) the next-to-last paragraph, leaving out the last one, and one of the most important to understanding Stapleton's character.
When he first arrived in Prague, he told a Prague Post interviewer, "I wasn't careful as a diplomat because I wasn't a diplomat.
"I tried to be reflective and not to say the first thing that came to my mind, but I was very confident, knowing the president, knowing the secretary of state, that I knew what they wanted me to do here."
The Czech press reported that in March 2003, Stapleton stormed out of a meeting with President Vaclav Klaus, who had criticized U.S. use of force in Iraq, undiplomatically slamming the door behind him.
There is now a small Czech contingent in Iraq.
Asked about the incident later, Stapleton reportedly replied, "The meeting ended because we were done discussing the topic that was on our agenda."
…Untypically of Bush nominees, Stapleton, 55, remains a registered Democrat. His grandfather, Benjamin Stapleton, was the Democratic mayor of Denver, Colorado. But he long ago threw in his political lot with Bush, whom he has known since college days.
Remember the following the next time you hear diplomats and common citizens, American and foreign alike, criticize American society as irresponsible for being one in which one goes over the heads of bona fide State Department employees towards political appointees in choosing its ambassadors (emphasis mine).
Stapleton, in his Prague Post interview, was asked what advice he would leave for his successor there. "Don't be careful," he replied. "Try everything. American ambassadors and American people in general are very open and do not try to pretend to be something they are not. American ambassadors are free-spirited and would do things that would not occur to some who have spent their lives in the foreign service."When asked by Dinah Spritzer about Iraqis' frustration with the pace of reconstruction, incidentally, Stapleton, who turns 60 in three days, replied
I am sure there are irritants in their life, but for those who were thrown into prison and had their hands chopped off or saw their sisters raped, I think life is better. It's a more democratic country than it was before and the leadership is more diversified than it's ever been. But winning the peace takes a long time.
The most important lesson of the Iraq war
…too many among America's elite lost their nerve when the going got toughwrites the Wall Street Journal (emphasis mine).
This may well be the most important lesson coming out of the Iraq war. The outcome of major combat operations was never seriously in doubt, although plenty of supposedly serious people predicted the siege of Baghdad would be America's Stalingrad. What was in doubt, however, was whether the U.S. could prevail if the war became an extended test of wills against a determined foe using guerrilla and terrorist tactics. This was a test not of the skill or bravery of the American soldier, but of the home front's willingness to see the war through; a test in which the key to victory wasn't competence but perseverance.
President Bush passed that test. He did so by dint of the very characteristics his critics found so objectionable: his certitude that going to war was the right thing to do; his conviction that Iraqis want to be free. To prevail, Mr. Bush had to wager his Presidency on a course of action that, by the summer of 2004, the chattering classes believed was doomed.
The American people also passed the test. We don't buy the myth that Mr. Bush bamboozled the public into believing there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September 11. Still, most Americans understood that, in their respective but parallel efforts, Saddam and Osama bin Laden were both testing America's credibility, which had been diminished during the Clinton years.
Americans also understood that credibility had to be restored if the war on terror was to be won, above all by not devising "exit strategies" in the face of a jihadist onslaught. As for tactics, whatever the public's qualms about Mr. Bush's handling of the war, they were persuaded that he was committed to seeing it through, a commitment Senator John Kerry did not convincingly share.
That leaves America's elite — the politicians, wise men, think-tank experts, academics, magazine and editorial-page editors, big-city columnists, TV commentators. Many opposed the war from the start, and whether they have now reassessed their views in light of recent events is a matter of some interest. But because they never signed on to the war in the first place, the question of their fortitude throughout its ups and downs is less an issue.
The people who really concern us here — the people who did not pass the test — are those who signed up for the war at the beginning only to find one excuse or another to sign out before it was won. Usually, those excuses centered on some Bush bungle, real or alleged, that no "competent" Administration would have made but that was said to have rendered the whole enterprise morally sullied and irremediable. The looting of Baghdad falls into this category, as does the political wallowing in the abuses of Abu Ghraib.
In this respect, [Clinton Administration diplomat Peter] Galbraith and his ilk are heirs to that generation of '60s leaders who took the U.S. into Vietnam only to turn against the war in fits of self-doubt, self-flagellation, excessive fine-tuning and political cravenness, after thousands of servicemen had lost their lives. Sad to say, this time around the doubters included all too many conservatives who supported the war at first but then distanced themselves from it as the insurgency grew. They had their own reputational "exit strategies."
We have had our criticisms of the way the Administration handled the prewar diplomatic and postwar reconstruction and counterinsurgency effort. But no chapter of America's military history has been free of strategic mistakes and tactical disasters, and our lodestar throughout has been the goal of eventual victory. As we wrote at the onset of war, in March 2003, "Toppling Saddam is a long-term undertaking" and "The largest risk is an imponderable: Whether Americans can generate the political consensus to sustain involvement in Iraq."
Two years later we know the answer to that question is yes, thanks to the fortitude and wisdom of a President, our soldiers and the American public. Maybe next time, our best and brightest will show the same character.
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
No, really... She's just being friendly...
Don Miguel de la Piedra ask a question which I too find puzzling:
Pay him a visit before La Doña talks him into building an addition.
UK Anti-war activists adopt guerrilla tactics
An interesting item from the UK Times Online -
funny, none of them seem to want to go to Chechnya and become "human shields"?
But WAIT - there's more to it than a set of 14 Ginsu knives and the pocket fisherman! Medienkritik reports:
The highest ranking woman in Germany's parliament, Antje Vollmer of the German Green party, accuses the U.S. government of an underhanded campaign against pedophile Catholic priests aimed at punishing Pope John Paul II for his opposition to the Iraq war.
To point out the hypocracy of this practice of making anything and everything somehow-about those awful Americans Ray and David point out that while her fellow member of the green party Borg collective, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the leader of the Greens in the European Parliament, was formenting revolution ins UNI (or whatever) he was quite proud of his strange attraction to 5 year old girls while he was running a kindergarten.
Oh, Mummy just feels so safe dropping the kids off now, doesn't she?
So what's the point? The "Peace camp", is so totally bereft of any sign of being right about anything, let alone actually wanting peace, that they've become unhinged. As if that was actually news that they were always a bunch of parasites, and are firmly committed to never letting facts get in their way and never changing.
Learning the Leftist Art of Emotional blackmail
If there is any obvious “social construct” which appears so obvious and visible, it is the construction and inflation of a handful of events into a myth which is politically useful to the left. Essayist and Guardian contributer Kenan Malik doesn’t even buy it.
From Malik’s essay The Islamophobia Myth:
«Exaggerating anti-Muslim prejudice is also useful for mainstream politicians, and especially for a government that has faced such a political battering over the war on Iraq and its anti-terror laws. Being sensitive to Islamophobia allows them to reclaim some of the moral high ground. It also allows Labour politicians to pitch for the Muslim vote. Muslims may feel 'betrayed' by the war on Iraq, trade minister Mike O'Brien wrote recently in The Muslim Weekly. But 'the Labour government are trying to deliver an agenda that has shown consideration and respect for Muslims.' According to O'Brien 'Iqbal Sacranie, the General Secretary of the Muslim Council, asked Tony Blair to declare that the Government would introduce a new law banning religious discrimination. Two weeks later, in the middle of his speech to the Labour Party Conference, Tony Blair promised that the next Labour Government would ban religious discrimination.»
«Pretending that Muslims have never had it so bad might bolster community leaders and gain votes for politicians, but it does the rest of us, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, no favours at all. The more that the threat of Islamophobia is exaggerated, the more that ordinary Muslims come to accept that theirs is a community under constant attack. It helps create a siege mentality, stoking up anger and resentment, and making Muslim communities more inward looking and more open to religious extremism.»
Can you picture then in Number 10 saying "hm, okay. Yeah whatever." What if, after all, it really WAS something bad, and they simply dealt with it with the same enthusiasm...There are several risks. The greatest of which is society fooling itself. The second greatest is that we are all lulled into a state of mental mush where any uninvestigated complain becomes an elaborate and expensive exercise in forced contrition. Lower on that scale is knowing that it’s all a play of symbolism and ritual but going along with it anyway.
The entire exercise makes a mockery of real social and racial problems, and can only end up inuring the public into finding ANY social measure suspicious. I hope they’re proud – they’re ruining the reputation of hundreds of millions worldwide by giving them an “accredited victim” status.
Sacrani, by the way means “drunkard” in Arabic. Is it bigotted to snicker every time I hear his name?
|... and while we are on the subject||... on en parlait justement|
|Old Europe : Obituary for a frustrated woman||Vieille Europe : Nécrologie d'une frustrée|
|EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE|
|Previously seen on MedienKritik, this editorial written by Mathias Dapfner, CEO of Axel Springer, is so brave and so outstanding that it merits be re-posting.|
EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE
(Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)
January 27, 2005
A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true. Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.
Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.
Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.
Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.
Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.
And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement... How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany.
I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists. One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolf Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".
What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.
It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.
Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.
His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.
In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.
On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.
For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake - literally everything.
While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive".
These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.
Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.
Jefferson on What Is Necessary for Tyranny to Gain a Foothold, on the Sum of Good Government, and on Associations of Men Which Do Not Quarrel
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.And concerning the European ideal of multilateralism, in which a group of powers brings about a benevolent status quo and in which an altruistic United Nations brings an end to all quarrels and can be counted on to bring about the common good:
A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.
A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.
A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit.
Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Always take hold of things by the smooth handle.
An enemy generally says and believes what he wishes.
At last now you can be what the old cannot recall and the young long for in dreams, yet still include them all.
An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.
What makes you think that there aren't Britons who don't realise that it's Satire?
"The peoples' car of the glorious socialist future and other ironies of the european mind"
Biased BBC has found a solution to MG Rover's problems...
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Mexican Radio Taliban Telephone
Andrea Dworkin dead at 58.
Andrea Dworkin has died in her home at the age of 58.
She did her very best to alienate women from women, women from men, but not
people from sheep and gerbils.
Marriage as an institution developed from rape as a practice. Rape, originally defined as abduction, became marriage by capture.
Only when manhood is dead - and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it - only then will we know what it is to be free.
The fact that we are all trained to be mothers from infancy on means that we are all trained to devote our lives to men, whether they are our sons or not; that we are all trained to force other women to exemplify the lack of qualities which characterizes the cultural construct of femininity.
The discovery is, of course, that "man" and "woman" are fictions, caricatures, cultural onstructs. As models they are reductive totalitarian, inappropriate to human becoming.
Have a look as well at Brian Carnell's short piece on her obsession with, and covering for rape, incest, bestiality (which she insisted was not abuse), androgyny, and you name it - basically anything that turns men and women into evolutionary dead-enders.
The Mothers of Invention
This truly demonstrates the potential of trade without borders, but alas we have yet to see a great many of these selling like hot-cakes. It's an ingenious German product ripe for use in the land of the motocrotte...
This one certainly looks useful and seems rather inspired by it's place of invention.
The wonders of science! What will they come up with next?
Vinocur Uses the John Kerry Postulate to Explain the Yes Camp's Dilemma on France's EU Constitution Referendum
In France, detractors dig in on EU charterwrites John Vinocur in the International Herald Tribune as he proceeds to explain the John Kerry Postulate for informed guessing on voting behavior.
As far as the constitution is concerned, the president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, has described the real problem as a deep "malaise" in the French relationship with Europe. Most of all, it goes to a sense of lost French influence in an expanded EU, and to the absence of the idea that this new Europe ever could do anything again for France.
Minus any enthusiasm, the very particular weakness of the "yes" campaign lies in the fact that both its Gaullist and Socialist proponents have explicitly said nothing like a catastrophe is at hand as a result of a "no" vote.
Products of French politics' endless incantation on the country's capacity to exist autonomously, voters here just wouldn't believe it — or politicians trying to win them over pre-demonize them as irresponsible and unpatriotic.
So the "yes" camp is stuck with the path of reassurance, saying disasters don't loom whatever the result. That leaves black paint and trepidation mostly to the "noes" and their pitch that the constitution will kill the protection and support systems of the European Social Model.
The only safe play involving cataclysmic warnings by the "yes" people seems to be anti-Americanism. They admonish: don't dump the constitution and leave the world to the domination of the United States. But the "no" campaign's grab bag of dissident voices from the left and right have staked out that zone too, saying a "yes" vote officializes Europe as a vassal to NATO.
The second part of the John Kerry Postulate slides into place here.
In order to beat Bush, Kerry calculated he needed votes from the center. To get them, he promised that America would win in Iraq and do nothing that would look like a dishonorable pullout.
In spite all of the contrary rhetoric, this left Kerry largely not dissociable from Bush on the war.
In France, while the "no" camp warns that ratifying the constitution would put in place a cruel, hyper-capitalist Europe, stripped of its social safeguards, the "yes" proponents reassure voters that nothing irreparable will happen if they say no. The Postulate Part II argues that when you're talking about something grand or ominous, and you validate your opponent's position by saying (or tacitly accepting) it is not fatal, you lose again. (See Kerry on Iraq.)
Identifying the exact meaning of a French rejection of the constitution — its "no" vote would seem to derail the European ratification process — is perilous because so much of the French political establishment has put itself in the position of saying it ain't no big deal.
On balance, though, rejection would almost certainly diminish French influence.
A less reliable France could hardly enchant Germany or continue to serve Europe as quite the same central counterbalance across the Rhine.
At its least reassuring, a "no" vote would come within the context of the view of a group of German political scientists who have warned since the Iraq war that Gerhard Schröder is trying to steer Germany's economic and foreign policy in the direction of strictly national interests.
In their increasingly nervous search for effective rhetoric, some of the pro-constitution folk — unable to talk about a disaster for Europe, or dare say a word about losing a handhold on the Germans — have turned to invoking Charles de Gaulle.
He would have voted "yes" in the referendum, they claim.
The fact is, as he threatened and on schedule, de Gaulle resigned from office in 1969 the day after his project for French regional restructuring was voted down in a national referendum.
In terms of France and its politics' eternal call to grandeur and vision, or of Chirac, who has not laid his job on the line to save Europe's constitution, that seems long, long ago.
Monday, April 11, 2005
"Sufficient and credible evidence" in Rwanda to try French government officials
Better to oppose Bush and America's allies — I meant: better to fire broadside after broadside on Bush and America's allies, unceasingly — all the while railing about the evils of capitalism, than do anything about countries as bad as Saddam's Iraq and crimes of any government but those linked to Uncle Sam and/or spend time detailing the humanitarians' (i.e., one's own) links with such régimes. (Here — thanks to Chrenkoff — is more news that Europe's media thinks fit to largely overlook…)
As David und Ray would say:
biased journalism as usual: Human rights abuses are condemned if the US government is involved. If not, if it's just plain vanilla torture without connection to the US government, reporting hits a dull streak.Which brings us to this other news from Africa (thanks to Stavn Piranha), which has been largely absent from the pages and airwaves of France:
Rwandan government officials claim that new proof of France's role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide has emerged during the UN's Rwanda court hearings. Not only was France training the genocidal militias prior to the genocide, the French government was even today providing perpetrators of the genocide a refuge. France has earlier been criticised by a European court for not trying genocide suspects.Update: from the BBC (thanks to GPR)
Aloys Mutabingwa, the Rwandan government's envoy to the UN-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), … repeated the more known allegations that France keeps interfering with justice by providing a shelter for suspected genocide perpetrators. Several main suspects are still said to be at large in France, allegedly under the protection of the Paris government.
Europe's Asymmetric Journalism
Few places symbolize the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of the German left more clearly than Chechnyawrites Ray D as the Medienkritik blogger explains the concept of asymmetric journalism in Europe.
When US President George W. Bush visited Germany last February, tens of thousands of angry demonstrators turned out in Mainz and all across Germany to vent their outrage at the Iraq war and the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Now, less than two months later, Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Germany. And a whopping 30 protesters showed up to demonstrate the bloody Russian war and widespread human rights violations in Chechnya.It would seem that Ray has a few questions for the practitioners of asymmetric journalism as well as for their readers and for the members of the society in which it thrives.
…The entire charade clearly demonstrates how the so-called German "peace movement" has changed little since the days of the Cold War when thousands protested in outrage over US involvement in Vietnam, but gave the Russians a free pass during the brutal Soviet war of occupation in Afghanistan. The movement's unending attempts to seize the moral high ground have been repeatedly undercut and exposed by the same sort of left-leaning Doppelmoral [double standards] time and again.
…If so many people around the world are so outraged by the military liberation of Iraqis from Saddam's Fascist reign of terror, why isn't there far more outrage at the horrific war of suppression going on in the Caucuses where oil is indeed an obvious factor behind the conflict?
Once again: Where are the hoards of angry anti-war protesters now that Vladimir Putin is in Germany? Why aren't they out waving rainbow PACE flags, beating drums, burning Putin effigies and pounding the pavement in mass protest by the thousands? Where are the shrill cries of "no blood for oil?" Where are the concerned friends of oppressed Muslims with their Palestinian flags? Where is the outrage at the violation of the Geneva Conventions and international human rights? Where are the mock funeral processions and empty coffins? Where are the candle-light vigils and the portraits of the dead and missing? Why has the German left sold out in the interest of selling trains and securing the rights to import oil and gas?
Don't forget to read about the
MSM's alibi, the token article…
Token Articles, Letters, and Other Examples of "Objectivity"
That scene is what comes to mind when I hear people in the mainstream media claim they have been objective and given la parole à tous.
That's what I think of when I hear the (lame) comeback (whether by journalists or by common citizens), "Oh yes of course, of course we are against that (other dictatorship/other tragedy taking place elsewhere) too."
Practitioners of asymmetric journalism — and the common citizens who spend a lifetime getting their news from same (and occasionally growing up to become journalists) — look at the other problem for a brief instant, appropriately wringing their hands and making tch-tch noises (which they believe in themselves), but just for as long as is necessary, before returning to the ignominy of the moment with the harshest of expletives and the strongest bile — invariably involving Uncle Sam, one of its allies, or capitalist society.
What has been called tokens (potiches, I call them in French) are simply alibis to give the media outlets that use them the appearance of objectivity. The television equivalent would be the (rare) program or the (rare) guest who is allowed to say the unpolitically correct (although he or she is almost invariably interrupted, shouted down, mocked, or — at best — never given the opportunity to have the last word).
Ray from Davids Medienkritik explains it best:
[Recently, an excellent piece was published] that unfortunately falls into the category of rare token article. … For those who aren't [familiar with the phenomenon], the game goes a little something like this: Once every fortnight or so, [an MSM outlet like Der Spiegel will feature] an editorial that completely goes against the grain of its predominantly left-wing, anti-American worldview. This is done more out of vanity than any real sense of journalistic integrity. The purpose of the exercise is to apply a thin veneer of spray-on pseudo-objectivity to mask the overwhelming stench of the publication's rank, overt bias.
The Europeans, Those Poor Sufferers
What sincere believer [sic] in atheism — and nonetheless indulgent to the reality of religion — has not suffered psychologically during the weekend of the endless agony of John Paul II and its outrageous overmediatisation?writes Michel Bellin to Le Monde. Like the pundits, (one of whom mentions "nausea", "paralysed … spirits", and this mediatic "opium of the people" which "ends up stupefying just about everybody"), the readers of Le Monde have started reacting (negatively) to all all the "hooplah" surrounding the death of the Pope. Bellin goes on to say
As if the planet had stopped turning for a number of days, as if absolutely nothing else occurred beside this tsunami of tears and holy water.It is not that I must necessarily begrudge this viewpoint. Taken by itself, I wouldn't think twice about it. The only thing is, I recognize it, I have seen it before.
I will just point out what type of European is speaking with so much irony and malice: These are the same ugly voices as those who, following 9/11, wrote in to complain that the pages and the airwaves were devoting too much time on the victims in Manhattan and the Pentagon, and to point their fingers at the victims' alleged sins (or those of their countrymen or of their country's leaders).
This is Europe's humanism. This is Europe's tolerance. This is Europe's solidarity with victims. This is Europe's understanding of others and their suffering.
If other people's grief does not contribute to an increase in Europe's popularity and an improved self-image, then it is no grief at all…
Kerry Confused by Satire, Shiny Wrapping Paper, and Tin-Foil
Senator John Kerry quoted in Opinion Journal's
His sources are found here and here.
"Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote," he said.
Where did Kerry come up with that idea about leaflets saying "Democrats on Wednesday"?
Probably from this story, which appeared a week before the election:
With the knowledge that the minority vote will be crucial in the upcoming presidential election, Republican Party officials are urging blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities to make their presence felt at the polls on Wednesday, Nov. 3. . . .
"You can't walk through a black neighborhood here in Miami without seeing our 'Don't Forget Big Wednesday!' message up on a billboard, tacked to a phone booth, or taped to a bus shelter," Monreal added. "The Republican Party has spared no expense in this endeavor."
"Porking Lots" and Other High Crimes
How is it that Mr. "porking lot" gets an ASBO, and moonbats who use their children as tools at vulgar and noisy protests?
Originally intended to keep loutish drunken thugs under control, the ASBO is a repressive, over-reaching measure worthy of the world Orwell described in "1984" even by the selective standards of the loony left. It's a punishment measure for having your feelings hurt and not being a luvvie. Gravett’s lament about luvvies says it all. Even a commenter in the kneejerk leftist rag, The Observer was ashamed:
«In his England, you were free to be as odd as you wanted as long as you didn't break the law, and were innocent until proved guilty beyond reasonable doubt if the authorities alleged you had broken the law.If you don’t believe me, have a look at the vague circular chatter found in the Home Office guidelines on dispensing an Antizocial Behaviour Ordnung for what’s loosely referred to these days as ‘human rights’.
That world's gone, as the history of antisocial behaviour orders shows.»
Just in case you cant remember, free speech used to be a human right as well.
Someone Else’s Corn of Plenty
Conservatives respect religion and many are observant to a religion.
Leftists simply exploit religious and charitable organizations for political ends – that is when they aren’t trying to devalue it or force it’s world view on people wherever they can.
Natalie Solent has the dish and explains how Christian Aid has run amok to the extent that they are hurting the poor of the world with their bad ideas.
"More impetuous than considered, more sympathetic than serious, and possessing a strong instinct to defend what he considers his interests"
Spain's former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar has heaped praise on US President George W. Bush in his memoirs … describing him as a man endowed with strong leadership abilitieswrites the AFP.
But Aznar, one of the US' closest European allies in the Iraq war, was cooler in his comments about French President Jacques Chirac whom he described as "more impetuous than considered".
Fidel Castro, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi and Pope John Paul II also feature among about 40 world leaders mentioned in the memoirs which cover Aznar's two mandates from 1996 until 2004.
…Pope John Paul II also made a strong impression on Aznar who says he was an "example of the strongest leadership" that he ever encountered despite their differences on the Iraq war.
However, while Aznar enjoyed a honeymoon period in relations with Bush, those with the French President Jacques Chirac deteriorated as Chirac became the main leader of international opposition to the Iraq war.
The French president is described in his memoirs as "more impetuous than considered, more sympathetic than serious, more dynamic than serene and furthermore possessing a strong instinct to defend what he considers his interests". …
The Two Revolutions and the Three Principles Each Embodies
There have been two revolutions, the American and French, and they expressed not only to opposing view of government, but they represent the struggle between Freedom and Socialism todaywrites R J Rummel (thanks to Dean and Steve), before going on to explain the three principles embodied by the American Constitution as compared to the three principes of the French Revolution, and concluding (a longer version here) that
the Freedom established by the American Revolution has been losing the struggle against the Counter-Revolution [and that] we are gradually being converted from the American to the French revolutionary principles.