It hardly sounds like an inducement, but The Telegraph (UK) reports today on a rather puzzling offer made to the Elysee.
Thanks to Steve Piranha, man of mystery, for alerting ¡No Pasaràn! to this comic pearl. It says a few things - Chirac DOES have some common sense, or at least some political sense, and knows when a blackmailer is trying to work him, but it also tells one just how high and how close the conversation went. Realize that we're talking about 2002 - a decade after the Gulf war. Sadaam is still in the U.N. doghouse, and theoretically out of the good graces of anyone in the west. (shxfptfff!!!!)
«Saddam Hussein's spies planned a wide-ranging scheme to bribe members of the French political elite in the run-up to the Anglo-American invasion, including an offer to help fund President Jacques Chirac's 2002 re-election campaign.Hey, why not make some new friends who can embarass an entire government or maybe even a political class! There are people who have tin-foil in their hats and sleep under wire-frame pyramids who think that there are Yermulka wearing mites crawling around in Bush's head, right?
That bid failed, according to Iraqi secret service papers seen by The Daily Telegraph, when Mr Chirac's aides allegedly said they did not need the cash.»
«Saddam Hussein's spies planned a wide-ranging scheme to bribe members of the French political elite in the run-up to the Anglo-American invasion, including an offer to help fund President Jacques Chirac's 2002 re-election campaign.Cheap, predictable, and very basic intelligence work. The only problem is that it actually works most of the time. Thank heavens it only went as far as it did.
That bid failed, according to Iraqi secret service papers seen by The Daily Telegraph, when Mr Chirac's aides allegedly said they did not need the cash.»
Saturday, May 14, 2005
It hardly sounds like an inducement, but The Telegraph (UK) reports today on a rather puzzling offer made to the Elysee.
Lifted from Fjordman: Sweden is beginning to resemble Beirut circa 1978. Among the great pearls of wisdom in circulation is this prayer/curse which was posted on a large Swedish Muslim internet forum in February 2005:
«Wallahi I pray that Allah will severely punish all those who are involved in this war against Islam. And that Sweden will feel the punishment of the Mujahdiin that the USA and Spain and other countries have done for their involvement in Iraq. May Allah punish this hypocrite government, Ameen. Please give me evidence that kuffar (infidels) should NOT be allowed to kill.»Somebody - please - ask them: are they aware of any great social ill which has actually been cured by promoting diversity?
«10:26pm The Word Unheard: Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq Calls Rout by Marines "Good News" calls attention to a "Baghdad Bob"-like press release by some element of the insurgents in Iraq. Interesting . . . This raises an interesting question: the MSM in the US has agenda-setting power and still largely influences public debates . . . but what about the populace of Iraq itself? Several articles in the past year have mentioned the explosion of news outlets over there . . . Chrenk's roundups have sometimes mentioned such growth. Is Al-Jazeera dominant, or have some of them made it to the top of the heap in the resulting news competition? In other words, how can the terrorist insurgency adopt their message to the reigning media outlets in Iraq itself?»
Josh Manchester hits the nail on the head: it is the weakness and selectivity of the mainstream media's reporting from Iraq that constructs such bias, not having an opinion itself. This is the giant tree that cowardly social climbers in the media use to avoid the appearance of having a view. Liveblogging in his media centerfuge:
«Understandably, she [the Washington Post's correspondenant] wants to focus on the deaths of those whom she has spent some length of time with. But such "human interest" memoirs are best told by the Marines themselves, and are best at the end of the battle -- when they might be contrasted against its outcome. As it is, the battle is still underway and she focuses solely on friendly casualties. Since she's only with one small unit, we can't expect her to give a bird's eye view of everything, which is fine, but friendly casualties are certainly not all that is happening to Lima Company.»Not much to actually BASE those EMOTIONS ON, other than the vision of battle, not the events, is there? No context given by the Post, other than that of the Marines' loss. The "news" are minutiae of who goes where and gets hit, how they got there and got hit. It's a report of some visible events, not the larger event, even though things like troop retreats, firefights, advancements toward known towns, features, and so forth is almost entirely missing. It's show and tell of things that make the loss of life meaningless - for both the Marines and their enemy. Chester shows us more of this - in fact he shows just what it is and the tenor of all that the MSM ever reports:
Now this is a good time to remind everyone what a VERY desperate-for-humiliation media does to its' ideological opponents. Australia's ABC Media Watch actually tried to undercut Chrenkoff's round-ups on advancement in Iraq by splitting hairs over whether or not the Wall Street Journal and OpinionJournal.com come from the SAME organization, or are just "related". Pretty silly. Anger is making the deuxième bureau types in the press irrational.
9:59pm On All Things Considered today, NPR covered the car-bombings in Baghdad during their top of the hour news, but said nothing at all about Matador. This is sad. The terrorists are hoping that enough car-bombs and the resulting coverage will give them their Tet moment. NPR is only abetting them when its coverage is not balanced . . . where do those car-bombers and bombs come from? Al Q'aim, where we're raking the sand with their bodies.
«Aljazeera.Net currently has a large story about the car-bombings, but only a blurb about Matador, and it leaves out key details.» Reporting a battle is more likely to look like this were it actually REPORTING. In other words, a edscription of events augmented with impressions that say more than the phrases themselves.
«1. Sunday, early morning: The bridge crossing(s) that began the operation were supposedly slower in progress than planned. Did this give a tip-off to the enemy? Mortar fire hit the bridging sites from Ubaydi and on the south side of the Euphrates at another site.Etcetera...
2. Sunday morning: Insurgents were spotted driving to rural houses in the north of the area of operations in Ribat, retrieving weapons stockpiles, then driving back to the cities.
3. One squad of Lima Co, 3/25, spent the better part of Sunday clearing a particular house in Ubaydi. The enemy had hidden in the basement and fired armor-piercing bullets through the floor at the Marines. Most of the day was spent destroying them, by this one squad, reinforced with heavy machine guns, a tank, and F-18 airstrikes.
4. Sunday - Marines began clearing house to house in Karabilah and New Ubaydi after the southern crossing site was shelled.»
«10:26pm The Word Unheard: Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq Calls Rout by Marines "Good News" calls attention to a "Baghdad Bob"-like press release by some element of the insurgents in Iraq. Interesting . . .
This raises an interesting question: the MSM in the US has agenda-setting power and still largely influences public debates . . . but what about the populace of Iraq itself? Several articles in the past year have mentioned the explosion of news outlets over there . . . Chrenk's roundups have sometimes mentioned such growth. Is Al-Jazeera dominant, or have some of them made it to the top of the heap in the resulting news competition? In other words, how can the terrorist insurgency adopt their message to the reigning media outlets in Iraq itself?»
|Remember Kosovo||N'oubliez pas Kosovo|
|Europe owes its 60 years of peace to MAD and to the United States' willingness to wage war. Will the EU survive the peace?||L'Europe a traversé 60 ans de paix grâce à la destruction mutuelle assurée et à la volonté des Etats-unis à faire la guerre. L'UE, survivra-t-elle à la paix?|
Robert Tumminello, the Expat Yank, has it right when it comes to Galloway and his upcoming testimony before the U.S. Senate. Johann Hari's fear that he'll sit there and use it as a platform to gas-bag like his ventriloquist's dummy followers:
«Perhaps. But it is important to bear in mind that in this situation he will not be preaching to the choir. Nor is he going to be able to "bulldoze"as if he were facing ITV presenters, the unfortunate Oona King, or even Paxman.
This is different. This time, he will be testifying before a U.S. Senate committee. Those committees are accustomed to grandstanders, oddbods and dramatists of every size and every type. (Sometimes, they even deliberately invite them in, as this invitation demonstrates.) We have a good laugh at U.S. senators, but joking aside on balance they are a seasoned, tough lot.»
Never mind the fact that Georgie Boy looks like he was sent down from central casting, more so than any politician I've ever seen.
For further illumination see The Daily Ablution, whether you need to or not...
Friday, May 13, 2005
The feelings many Britons seem to have about Malcolm Glazer buying Man Utd. reminds me of the old sitcom with Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles. The big joke in "To the manor born" was that Bowles' character was some sort of philistine - he was actually (forshame!) a foreigner. It would make him the most refined philistine I've ever seen, surely...
The big yucks came from the isolated country aristocrats looking down their noses at the dapper new manor owner and his very salt of the earth, tough, Czech sounding mother. Good fun, this mocking of the toffee nosed landed gentry...
But what of Glazer? Why are Man Utd fanatics suddenly so worried about a man who now owns 70%, owning 75%?
If a russian robber baron can get in on Britons' good graces by pretending to be a Chelsea fan, why then not the owner of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buckaneers?
I wonder how Roman Abramovich is any different in wanting an NFL team of his own, and as having sought an NHL team as well, were it not for Abromovich betting the “Man Utd fan treatment” from Canadians.
There was no outcry in the US over his trial balloon, just some curiosity and puzzlement over the fact that anyone would think an NFL franchise is a good investment, and not just a headache. There's also the bar-room hatred that fans usually have for team owners and their team-building decisions. It has a kind of tartness worse than that of a coach or player that goofs up. The man is 78 years old - he certainly isn't doing this to “pillage” Old Trafford or build a future "sports empire."
No - they are busting blood vessels over this because Glazer is American. Okay - if it makes you feel better think of him as the son of a Lithuanian immigrant from New York who had a modest upbringing.
Even Sir Alex Ferguson is all for the idea, and he’s not a “yank”.
Feel better now, m8?
Human Rights Watch appears to be the source Newsweek's “Koran in the Latrine” story, which they are tight-lipped about. It appears that they have little proof at all to go on, but cited the source anyway. A riot results, people die, they get to convince a few more gullible people that the US is engaged in a religious war. There goes their show of force. Useful, no?
But that’s not the real story, not to the Beeb, the Guardian, and their fellow travelers.
Look over this piece. No source of the report out of Gitmo is given. Only the assumption that the riot was founded, a focus on 4 dead rioter in Kabul, and the slow transformation from “desecration” to “abuse”. In other words, this is a roundabout way of implying torture, in only the way the United States can be nailed for it. In other words, only the United States can actually be nailed.
This appears to be going the same way as the 4 British detainees who were released, and accused the U.S. military of torturing them. No follow up. No proof. And not heard from since. Crickets. It's safe to assume that their argument was spent, there wasn't that much to it, and that they are no longer useful to the press.
No memory? Congratulations. Lefty just picked your pocket.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
While giving in on a number of issues, I was not prepared to let every accusation go by without putting them into a modicum of perspective.that's not quite true; the South had slavery, while most Northern states had given up their systems before the French Revolution even took place, meaning more than half the country was slaveless. Besides, didn't France and the European powers introduce slavery to all their colonies in America (including what would become the future United States) and Africa — if it didn't exist there already (black masters with black slaves)?
When he said that at least Europeans hadn't introduced it on the European continent proper, I wondered skeptically about the supposed benefits of the matter, and, putting aside the non-racial type of slavery (white masters with white slaves) that had existed from time immemorial, I added the question, wasn't their primary reason for not doing so related to the absence of an appropriate climate (for the cultivation of cotton, say), rather than the presence of superior morals?
When he said that the outcome of the Civil War had done little to nothing for the black man, I replied (quoting from James McPherson) that after 1865, the black man could no longer be sold, and his family broken up. If that is not sign of progress, what is?
When he said that blacks had made no advances since that period, I replied that the chairman of the chief of staff has been black, the ambassador to the United Nations has been black, numerous movie stars have been (or are) black, the governor of the state sheltering the former capital of the Confederacy has been black, and the mayors of Atlanta, Saint Louis, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and San Francisco have been (or are) black (and since our conversation, two blacks have become secretary of state).
As for his saying that African-Americans were doing poorly economically, I replied that four out of six blacks are in the middle class, and asked how well had citizens of France's former African colonies fared, either during colonization or following its end?
This went on for a while in a similar fashion until he said that there were no race riots in France the way there had been in cities like Los Angeles (twice — in the 1960s and the 1990s). That may be true, I said (quoique…), but you must remember that minorities form a much greater percentage of the population in America than here in Europe. (The point being, of course, not to excuse racist attacks, but to providing a context for understanding them.)
That was when the man smiled and, with a wink, said in a mischievious voice:
Nous, on a été plus malins. On n'en a pas laissé autant entrer.Translation: "We Frenchmen acted in a smarter way than you Americans. We didn't let as many darker-skinned people enter our country."
This took me aback. In fact, I have a hard time explaining how much this shocked me. I don't know if my mouth was left wide open and if I actually blinked several times in succession, as from a strong blow, but that's certainly how I felt.
- First of all, the comment invalidated all of the man's high-falutin' anti-racist language; before this, I had taken for granted that all anti-racism activists (of whatever nationality) were an honestly dedicated bunch, and that to a meaningful struggle
- Second, the comment showed a vision of communities, or groups, where everybody is like-minded (or like-simple-minded) and the importance of the individual is negated as it is taken as a given that every member shares the same thoughts and goals
- Third, the comment inherently suggested — and not in a critical sense, but in a matter-of-fact way — that darker-skinned people are not to be considered a part (integral or otherwise) of those communities, either that forming the United States or that of any European country, let alone second-class citizens
- Fourth, the comment showed deep ignorance of, if not willful indifference to, historical facts and actual historical possibilities (think Abraham Lincoln's "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me")
Debating, in the land of Descartes (and in many other places, I have since found), is not to share thoughts and ideas. It is all about proving one's superiority, whether in the case of anti-racism, intelligence, humanism, rationality, lucidité, generosity, tolerance, honesty, or eternal wisdom — and proving this to one's self, and to one's kind, as much as to any others.
In retrospect, this conversation, which took place in the 1990s, is one of the seminal events in the evolution (if that is the correct word) of my thinking. Before, I had imagined that knowledge of the facts would be instrumental in carrying a debate forwards and bringing about an end, or at least some temperance, to anti-Americanism. Now, I saw that the facts hardly mattered. All that mattered was that, in the final analysis, the speaker and his type of society should come out on top.
I liken this to the many times conversations (if they can be called that) have centered on my putting things into perspective, or trying to, because often I would be interrupted by my interlocutors making constant jumps from one subject to the next — the Cold War, the death penalty, Vietnam, the Indians, capitalism, Chile, slavery, etc, etc, etc — usually before I had finished speaking, and with faces reflecting extreme anger, disgust, mockery, or glee.
FYI, the conversation with the man in his 50s was one among many which eventually led me to come up with the principles of the Americans Anonymous organization.
One Kafkaesque morning, as I was waking up from anxious dreams, I discovered I dreaded going to workwrites Europress reviewer Denis Boyles (Thanks à Valerie).
All I wanted to do was cheat on my perfect wife, ignore my children, stab my oldest friend in the back, and smoke a cigarette, even though I haven’t smoked for almost 20 years. My hair broke out in gel and my underwear turned into briefs — then shrunk three sizes. I realized I was slowly becoming a French person.
So I'm going to the American midwest, the anti-France, where people talk as straight as they often are. …
How the hell do you lose a 5 foot long fuel-rod? Fell of the truck, maybe? Lunch break forgetfullness?
Oddly enough they should be worked up about Dieudonné going to the crowbar hotel. As awful as hate speech is, the "do-gooder" left might finally see the stupidity of trying to regulate it through arbitrary limitations through speech codes.
Attention is being misplaced on what Dieudonné says, and defending his anti-semetic rants. Lost, I think, is a reasonable notion of an individual's freedom, and the consequences of being rebutted freely and without the veil of a media treating him softly and fearfully not airing his critics' replies. When the law, and not individuals, get involved in these matters, we all lose.
When a miasma of unrelated "white guilt" tacitly silences criticism in the same way we all lose too.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Where Are the Enraged Botero's Paintings on Saddam's Crimes, China's Prison System, Russia's Gulag?…
Investigators discover several mass graves in southern Iraq that are believed to contain bodies of people killed by Saddam Hussein's government; one near Basra appears to contain about 5,000 bodies of Iraqi soldiers who joined failed uprising after 1991 war; another near Samawa holds some 2,000 members of Kurdish clan of Massoud Barzani. (Robert F Worth in the New York Times)Where are the indignant Botero's paintings on Iraq's killing fields?
That's right, there aren't any.
Shandong No. 2 is part of a vast penal system in China that is separate from the judicial system. … Locked inside more than 300 special prisons are an estimated 300,000 prostitutes, drug users, petty criminals and other political prisoners who have been stripped of any legal rights. … In interviews in China, five Falun Gong followers traveled hundreds of miles to avoid government security agents and described their experiences in labor re-education camps. Mr. Li arrived in 2000 after spending 10 days in a police holding cell. His family was not notified until he had begun serving a two-year sentence. He said guards often jolted inmates with electric cattle prods to get them to renounce Falun Gong. "The pain was indescribable," he said. "My body jumped in the air." Two female inmates described repeated humiliations. Menstruating women were shackled standing against a board and then prevented from sleeping or going to the bathroom for several days. (Jim Yardley in the New York Times)Where are the incensed Botero's paintings on China's prison system?
That's right, there aren't any.
The Nazis had come after the Soviets. Then the Russians returned. A third of Latvia's population perished — executed, starved or devoured by the Gulag — a loss rate comparable to the ravages of the Black Death. Latvian men were beaten or shot for the crime of wearing eyeglasses — intellectuals were dangerous. Rape was used to break the people's will. The secret police settled in, imposing bureaucratic order on oppression. By the time I arrived, no Latvian wanted to speak Russian to me, preferring to stumble along in English or even German. (Ralph Peters in the New York Post)Where are the enraged Botero's paintings on the Russian gulag?
Oh, that's right, there aren't any.
The Colombian artist has been too busy painting the abuses at Abu Ghraib, that "great crime" of modern times…
Clue: unhappy, unpleasable, puzzling, costly glasses and haircuts
Greeting President Bush in Tbilisi:
Clue: civil, people one can discuss things with, even party with, no more vane than anyone else.
Part of the answer lies perhaps in the following:
Any time there is a more democratic government in existence, the less democratic government (however many levels "less" that is) will feel threatened (to the extent that it is less free), and spend time and energy dissing, undermining, and castigating the freer society's freedom as bogus, hypocritical, and/or (ultimately) counter-productive to the well-being of its citizens and, indeed, to the well-being of the entire world.
Because the freer society is more open — precisely because that society is more open — the less open society has plenty of ammunition to draw upon for the castigation.
Speaking, and acting this way, as I have written before, is eminently self-serving, as it makes both the governments and the élite, on one hand, and the common citizens, on the other, feel better about the society they live in and about all the choices they (or their government) make(s), not least those to ensure more power for said (type of) government.
"Nigger, nigger" monkey chanted the Europeans, who are ever lecturing Americans on their alleged racism
As the team coaches arrived for the match and the [soccer] players made their way into the [Madrid] stadium, scores of fans rushed up to the wire fence and shouted 'nigger, nigger' at Daniel Kome, a Cameroon midfielder and Getafe's only black playerwrites Martin Jacques in The Guardian.
For some bizarre reason, even during the warm-up, Kome was to be seen training on his own, away from the rest of the squad.Martin Jacques, a former editor of Marxism Today and a regular contributor to Observer Sport Monthly, ends his piece with evidence that
… 'It is well known,' says [Marcelino Bondjale, who was born in Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony], 'that any time a black player gets the ball, there is monkey chanting — this is the norm. When monkey chanting starts, part of the crowd is silent, the other joins in. And nobody ever does anything. No one has ever been prosecuted for monkey chanting. The police can be standing two metres away and they never intervene.'
…minorities remain deeply isolated in Spanish society, especially the Africans, who live on the edge of the economy in a twilight world of casualised labour. The gypsies, who number almost a million, have been outcasts for centuries. The Spaniards, with their fingers in their ears and their eyes firmly shut, remain in denial.
… The racism that blights Spanish football is not unique: on the contrary, in some degree or another, it exists in every European country. … The most obvious previous occasion was the Euro 2004 qualifier in October 2002 between England and Slovakia in Bratislava when the crowd — in a country with barely any black people — erupted seemingly to a person in racist abuse, including even the stretcher-bearers.
…But Europe is a continent suffused with prejudice. Its status and identity, its history and sense of self, has, over centuries, been intimately bound up with a sense of racial and cultural supremacy. White skin became the signifier and affirmation of superiority. As a result of colonialism, much of the rest of the world was subject to its influence and fiat, often in barbaric forms. No continent suffered more than Africa, first through the slave trade and then in the imperial carve-up of the late 19th century. If white was the metaphor for superiority, black, in the European mind, became the code for inferiority…
The reason why football has become the fault line of European racism is not simply because it is the popular male discourse bar none, but because, far more than in any other activity, black and brown people are present in large numbers and, as players, are the subjects of our emotions and passions. The football stadium — like nowhere else in society — brings white men, in the form of the crowd (the latter everywhere in Europe remains overwhelmingly white), into contact with black men, the players. Football, like nothing else, confronts European society with its own history, culture and prejudice. It is a racial cauldron.
It doesn't just happen in SpainThanks to Jonathan Baum, whose comment cuts to the chase: "One has to wonder how Europeans who regularly attack the US over its supposedly racist society can square this with their own behavior towards dark-skinned people in their own back yard. Can you imagine anything remotely similar happening to black American athletes?"
Today's great pearl of political wisdom: When do I get to meet Gwynneth Paltrow?. Think about it - Huffington named the thing after HERSELF, and then gets a bunch of inflated egos to write about themselves too! This isn't quite "painting the fence for Tom Sawyer" - this is exploitation by Huffington of the intellectually handicapped. Is this what leftists hope will be the future of the news media? Feeding egos with this sort of trash?
- Chapeau alert reader, Steve Piranha.
Reading the Huffington creampuff blog did put me off of my couscous, though, Steve...
Thanks to Gregory for providing some kind of adult supervision! « All the more so because it isn't obvious what would work better than the Administration's steadfast refusal to deal bilaterally with the North Koreans, its attempt to outsource leadership over the negotiations to China, and its position that the North Koreans need to commit to dismantling their program before any incentives are put on the table. In this case, one of the few routes conceivably open is to try to build an international consensus, probably in the form of a UN Security Council resolution, that North Korean proliferation is intolerable. That would allow us to mount an internationally credible effort to verify exactly what the North Koreans are up to.»
The Mighty Belgravian,Gregory Djerejian, Suzanne Nossel takes to task on the least promising idea of the new century: repeating the Clinton Administration’s diplomatic style disarmament efforts with South Korea.
International consensus? Without China? Isn’t that OUTSOURCING?
But when a policy on something as vital as North Korea is clearly, it is incumbent on an Administration to pursue other options.
Djerejian quotes Anthony Cordesman to help make his point:
«Said Cordesman: "What's the U.N. going to do? Pass a Security Council resolution saying that it's a bad idea for North Korea to proliferate? I don't want to say, 'So what?' but it's pretty close."Precisely – like the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, just what is it that the PA has to offer in exchange for land? A hearty handshake and a tin of Ma’amoul for New Years’?
Indeed. Put differently, why would Kim Jong II listen to the policy pronunciamentos emiting from Turtle Bay if he's, all this long time, been giving short shrift to major regional players like Russia and China? There are other problems with Suzanne's post (aside from her use of Kerryesque soundbites about 'outsourcing' NoKo policy to Afghan warlords..wait, sorry, to China...). Suzanne, rather conveniently, doesn't deign to mention how the Clinton Administration was bamboozled by the North Koreans with the '94 Framework Agreement. Kim was only too happy to pretend to play ball, and many naifs in Democrat national security circles got all excited that progress and compliance was in the air. Diplomacy works!»
But it also leaves one not very hopeful about our fate if the left comes to power again - especially in the area of international relations. If it's de rigeur to be a shallow political hack who repeats shallow truisms that barely make sense at home, what is a Democrat party led state department to do abroad?
« All the more so because it isn't obvious what would work better than the Administration's steadfast refusal to deal bilaterally with the North Koreans, its attempt to outsource leadership over the negotiations to China, and its position that the North Koreans need to commit to dismantling their program before any incentives are put on the table.
In this case, one of the few routes conceivably open is to try to build an international consensus, probably in the form of a UN Security Council resolution, that North Korean proliferation is intolerable. That would allow us to mount an internationally credible effort to verify exactly what the North Koreans are up to.»
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Paul Martin, Ambulance Chaser
Caught on tape: Paul Martin's photo-op from Human Tragedy.
Klicken sie hier, kawallos! for video courtesy of the Canada Free Press.
«See and hear for yourself how he shills the purified water of Zenon Environmental Inc., an Oakville-based company of which his lifetime mentor Maurice Strong [Ed. Some of his friends call him Mau-rice] is a board member.
See and hear some of the film highlights, including Padre Hardwick trying to do the job he was asked to do: namely honouring the dead. Padre Hardwick calls for a Moment of Silence. Fifteen seconds into the Moment of Silence, Prime Minister Martin ends it, saying, "Let’s go."
Swigging from a bottle of Zenon purified water, he says repeatedly, "C’est excellent!"
Martin passes the bottle to wife, Sheila, who swigs from it, pronouncing distinctly, "Better than at home!"»
…Bush exploited the lingering patriotic fervor of a country attacked… He played on fears… Countless Americans [made the] odd choice [of voting] for an administration that has been a relentless friend of the rich… like George W. Bush, [Tony Blair] took his people to war with a case that proved empty… The sunny energy and idealism of his landslide victory in 1997 and his convincing return to power in 2001 now seem a distant memory, replaced, or at least overshadowed, by the reputation for untrustworthiness that has formed as a result of the case he made for war.Such are but some of the phrases and expressions to be found in Roger Cohen's article on the UK's "remarkable survivor", which starts thus:
It is now a startling fact, and one that will be studied by political historians for many years, that the two men chiefly responsible for a war in Iraq undertaken with false and misleading arguments have been reelected.And to no one's surprise, the International Herald Tribune article uses a condescending term for Blair's belonging to the coalition of the willing ("tied at the hip to the United States").
Prime Minister Tony Blair's victory in Britain, ushering in a record-setting third consecutive term for his Labour Party, came despite virulent domestic opposition to the war and anger over Blair's "sexed-up" pre-war depiction of an Iraq armed with weapons of mass destruction that posed a pressing threat.
Those weapons, of course, were never found.
As noted before, of all the coalition allies in Iraq who have faced elections or weathered similar storms — Spain's Aznar, Australia's Howard, Bush himself, Denmark's Rasmussen, Italy's Berlusconi, and Britain's Blair — all were expected to prevail, and all have survived (unless a bomb strategically placed three days before a given election upset the political order). Bruised and battered, perhaps, in some cases, but they still emerged the winners.
And yes, this is too hard for the MSM to understand.
La position de la France, dans cette polémique, a consisté à ménager les sensibilités officielles russes. Alors que George Bush a signifié qu'il profiterait de son tête-à-tête, dimanche soir, avec Vladimir Poutine pour "lui rappeler" que la fin de la guerre en Europe n'avait pas signifié pour tous la fin de l'oppression, Jacques Chirac n'a fait aucune allusion à ce thème, mais délivré un nouveau satisfecit au régime russe, qui mène, selon lui, des réformes "positives".Strange how it never seems necessary to manage American sensibilities. Strange, also, how, if and when it is American leaders who seem to be managing the sensibilities of autocrats, this always gives raise to a brouhaha of indignation and castigation, inside America as well as abroad.
In a similar vein, while the French attribute their own opposition to America as proof of nothing but courage, reason, rationality, vision, and common sense, Christophe Châtelot attributes the Poles' opposition to Russia as proof of "a persistent perfume of Russiaphobia" floating around in Poland. Meanwhile, the obituary of a Le Monde journalist says quite a lot about the values of the French.
Double standards, mes amis. Double standards.
Part of Europe's leadership appears to approach events by "turning everything into a contest" with the Americans, says Kissinger
…the chronicler of Castlereagh and Metternich is surely the most believable American willing to proclaim to a European audience (and escape their snorts and titters) that the relationship is spiritually and psychologically important for both sideswrites John Vinocur in his International Herald Tribune article about Henry Kissinger.
European leaders don't think in the same global strategic context, and the Europeans have difficulty (contrary to the cliché) distinguishing between their long-term interests and the short term.
In fact, Kissinger said a part of Europe's leadership — I can't imagine him challenging the idea that France and Germany want to enroll Russia in their vision of Europe serving as a counterweight to the United States — now appeared to approach events by "turning everything into a contest" with the Americans.
"Whether Europe becomes strong is essentially up to the Europeans," he said. "Is there any evidence the United States wants to divide Europe? I am an agnostic on the subject of the European constitution. But we are not attempting to prevent the consolidation of Europe."
If can't grasp competative, NON-monopolistic capitalism, jump up and down, stamp your feet, and yell...
But what the hell is Airbus whinging about anyway?
«NEW DELHI, May 5 (AFP) - Air-India said Thursday that it would complain to European aircraft giant Airbus Industrie for crying foul over the state-run carrier's decision to buy 50 long-range jets from US rival Boeing.
"We will be letting Airbus know about our deep unhappiness with the way they went about making unfounded accusations against Air India in the media," Bhargava told AFP in a telephone interview from Bombay.
The board of state-run Air-India on April 26 awarded a contract for 50 long-range Boeing aircraft after a year of intense lobbying by both companies for the deal. The contract is subject to federal government approval.
Bhargava added that "speculation in the media ... regarding us suing
Airbus (on the matter) is a little far fetched and incorrect."
The Times of India newspaper carried a front page story saying
Air-India had sought legal advice and was planning to take Airbus to court for running a "disinformation campaign."
Airbus said it was denied a chance to offer a wider variety of aircraft choices while Boeing was able to sell its B787 Dreamliner which is still under development.
It also urged the Indian government to probe Air-India's decision, order a new tender and questioned Boeing's delivery schedule.
"We are not disappointed but astonished. We were not given fair and equal treatment," Airbus vice president Nigel Harwood said after the contract was awarded. Air-India also described the Airbus demand for a government probe into its board decision as "outrageous."»
Monday, May 09, 2005
The Unfairness of German Resentment Against the French, and What Would Have Been a More Just Situation
I and a couple of others intervened, asking whether the sign — which sounded totally illegal, if nothing else — was an official one or a paint-up job, and how long it stayed there. Also, I wondered, was it really evidence of ugly xenophobia or might it simply have been part of a "campaign" of good-natured, give-and-take, fraternal ribbing between comrades?
Just then, the conversation changed, because a guy chimed in about the unfairness of the situation. He seemed truly bewildered:
Since 1945, they [the Germans] should not feel resentful against the French, but rather against the AmericansIt would have been nice if somehow he — or one (just one) of the four or five Frenchmen present — had seen some underlying irony in what he said, or even hinted at a modicum of praise for les Américains.
But all he seemed to see was the injustice of a situation in which the French had displayed good (i.e., peaceful) "behaviour" and, insofar as it was deserved, any oppobrium could only be directed towards the war-mongering Americans. None of the others present thought it worthwhile to point out that perhaps the only correct behaviour, the only defensible one, in World War II was that adopted by Uncle Sam, and Dieu merci pour nous tous that they did as they did, earning German resentment in the process.
Those of us stuck here in this wrestling-with-faith world find Lincoln to be our guide and navigator. Lincoln had enough firm conviction to lead a great moral crusade, but his zeal was tempered by doubt, and his governing style was dispassionatewrites David Brooks in his article on America's 16th president.
The key to Lincoln's approach is that he was mesmerized by religion, but could never shake his skepticism. Politically, he knew that the country needed the evangelicals' moral rigor to counteract the forces of selfishness and subjectivism, but he could never actually be an evangelical himself.Thanks to Ashbrook's Lucas Morel, and to Joseph Knippenberg and Peter Schramm (who reviewed Allen Guelzo's emancipation book last year) for finding reactions to the Brooks piece, as well as reactions to the reactions.
…Lincoln's core lesson is that while the faithful and the faithless go at each other in their symbiotic culture war, those of us trapped wrestling with faith are not without the means to get up and lead.
In addition, my Lincoln page has been updated.
And why shouldn't he? After all,
one century ago, Creuse had 284,000 inhabitants, as compared with 124,000 at the latest census. It is in the process of desertification, which its representatives find very worrying, because many of its public services are threatened.In other words, public services do not exist to serve the people and individuals. No, it's the other way around: the people exist to serve society's (or the government's) public services.
That's the kind of mindset you get when berthed and sheltered by the state from the cradle to the grave.
Faith in the “Goddess within” = victimhood? How confused can you get?
Is this gullible cretin kidding? She seems to find an opening among the middle-minded suburbanite-in-white-pants search for "self-realization" in Jew hating. In what, you ask?
I asked it once, I'll ask it again... Why are the women who call themselves "godesses" usually atheists, and why can't the ones who call themselves "divas" actually sing? Don't you notice that these are the least accomplished people you ever met, "talking up" their empty minds and distinct lack of awareness about the world?
Of all places, in a Mother's Day article in the leafy town of Ithaca, in upstate New York. But then again, the far left has it in for motherhood, anyway.
«Readers of the Ithaca Journal in upstate New York opened their paper this weekend expecting another flowery article marking Mother's Day. Instead, they got an anti-Israel diatribe that illustrates just how deeply this rhetoric has seeped into the fabric of some communities and local media.
In an opinion column, Sandy Wold urges fellow mothers to follow her introspective, 'enlightened' path to self-realization and parenting. Wold is particularly concerned with the problem of 'victimhood', offering up this example:
Most people get stuck in the victim role, however. On the global scale, for example, Zionist Jews in Israel [Ed.: disseble THAT!] have occupied Palestinian land in the name of God and victimhood. If anyone criticizes Israel for their terrorist attacks and slaughter of the Palestinians, they are mmediately labeled "anti-Semitic" and guilt-inflicted for the Holocaust without any regard for Palestinian suffering. In response, the United States and United Nations fall into a co-dependent behavior of acquiescence and collusion.
[Ed.: how is it that the people who know the least about the world, seem to personalize geopolitical and ethical matters into a state of either paralysis or a call for a new kind of pogrom?]
This demonization of Israel and offhand treatment of the Holocaust is all the more disturbing given the author's self-description from her website, Healing The Goddess:
The armor I used to carry in my body has melted away. I am more open, kind, loving, and patient than ever before... only now it is predominantly effortless and abundant.
Yet Wold's 'abundant love' ends very abruptly at Israel, which receives the brunt of her not-so-warm Mother's Day greeting.
Wold's Ithaca Journal article is actually part of a larger trend from the New Age 'Goddess' movement blaming Israel for Mother Earth's woes.
One of the most popular gurus of this ostensibly peace-loving theology is a woman who goes by the name 'Starhawk'. Starhawk…
Starhawk is also a spiritual mentor for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) of Rachel Corrie fame, a 'peace organization' whose primary activities have included protecting Palestinian terrorists from the IDF.»
Does he need to draw you a picture?
Author of the blog: Gods of Commerce, who has frequently pointed out the irrational nature of anti-capitalism in his own city of San Francisco, sums up nicely the driving force behind “blue" America:
«My point is that communism (with a small C) was a lefty value system that had several million Americans hewing to a “party line.” The party line replaced theism. Today the heirs to this system of thought still hew to a party line. I get the party line in every gathering of San Franciscans. Some people get the party line from Doonesbury, others from friends who read Doonesbury. The rest just figured out that being opposed to everything George W. Bush proposes is the simple way to follow the party line.»Of anti-corporate lunacy, which is spreading, he pointed out, requires more management slickness, social acuity, and the very responsiveness that their opponents despise:
«What we get are businesses that are skilled at big city manipulation (not necessarily direct bribery).
I counted the data. In the latest phone book. During the past decade San Francisco has blocked new stores for Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Sears, Ikea and Prada. We really missed out on Prada.
We only allowed Trader Joes one new store in a housing project and blocked several others.
All the while, Walgreens, a superb urban political warrior, has gone from a little over a dozen stores to 55 stores. Starbucks, outright banned in many neighborhoods, has opened most of its 68 retail stores. Over scientifically unsupported strong opposition to evil electrical radiation, two large wireless networks have been installed in San Francisco and both networks are growing.
Starbucks, outright banned in many neighborhoods, has opened most of its 68 retail stores. Over scientifically unsupported strong opposition to evil electrical radiation, two large wireless networks have been installed in San Francisco and both networks are growing.
So, San Francisco ends up getting the political sophisticates of the business world and misses out on the naïve innocents.
Not a smart move for labor or new jobs, but that’s what happens to an appealing but anti-commerce town.»
The phonebook. Let your fingers do the walking, and when someone suggests that an employer looking to spend money on your town is somehow a bad thing, you’ll only need ONE finger to do the talking.
George Booze - look up from your microscope and listen - socialism leaves nothing left to distribute.
Telling the story of a Syrian man stuck in, well, Syria - specifically, the Army, our hero has a moment with the PsyWar/"Political Officer" at a "political meeting":
«- Define the Party.Karfan, is one letter away from kharfan, or scared in arabic.
The perplexed Sergeant answered:
- eih, Sir?
- Give a Definition of the party.
- What? The party, Sir? THE party.
- YES, Sergeant, Define the Baath Party.
- The Baath Party, Sir? You mean the Party.
Loosing his nerve, the officer yelled:
- YES, SERGEANT, YOU HEARD ME, WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF THE PARTY?
- eih, emmm, the party sir, the party sir is ... the Party.
The sergeant, looking confident now that he found the absolutely unshakable true answer to this weird quiz:
- The Party sir? The party is the Party. (El Hezeb Ya Seedee, El Hezeb Hweih El Hezeb).
That was, in Karfan's view, the most exact and profound statement that has ever been said about the Baath Party. Maybe it was some sort of a definable political entity in the old days, before King Lion the 1st decided to turn it into a joke, but for us, the happy generation who were borne after the happy revolution, it is just that: THE PARTY.»
The author of Syria Exposed is quite witty and fun to read. Well worth a visit.
Although the EU is for trade-purposes every bit as much a single unit as say the 50 United States, it enjoys the singular good fortune of having 25 votes in the WTOwrites John Rosenthal in his piece on Pascal Lamy, the frontrunner to head the World Trade Organization, and on his and José Bové's "common commitment to subordinating trade to environmental policy objectives: or, in other words, permitting discriminatory trade practices in the name of the latter."
…in short, the difference between Pascal Lamy and José Bové is one of style, not substance: one of means, not of ends. And indeed, as Lamy’s remarks suggest – “José is a critical trade-unionist. It’s very different.” – these different means and styles are merely different, not incompatible. José Bové rejects the WTO. Pascal Lamy is committed to undermining it from within. If he becomes the next Director General of the organization, he will have ample opportunity to do so.Earth Wars — A New Hope: Against the evil empire of money, Earth's only hope is a band of rebels led by one man — José. Don't miss out on the excitement of the challenging José Bové game in which you must do things like: destroy GM food and mad cows (armed with a scythe like the grim reaper); tear down a McDonald's restaurant (although I failed to see how pulverizing the outlet's trees was supposed to mesh in with the movement's claims to be environment-friendly); and resist police oppression with the help of camembert cheeses (weapons of mass destruction?).
America may have lost a tactical intervention in Vietnam, but the strategic consequences of that intervention was part of one of the most masterful exercises in foreign policy in modern historywrites Thomas Lipscomb as he examines what he calls "a collection of myths … that today are regarded by many as historical fact".
The Middle East and the United States should be so lucky as to have Iraq turn out to be "another Vietnam."
"A capacity for straight talking rather than peddling half-truths is a strength and not a disadvantage in diplomacy"
…you know what liberals always say: "Where there's nothing, there's fire."What the Iron Lady wrote to Bolton was that
A capacity for straight talking rather than peddling half-truths is a strength and not a disadvantage in diplomacy … Particularly in the case of a great power like America, it is essential that people know where you stand and assume that you mean what you say. With you at the UN, they will do both.As for the Legal Affairs Correspondent for Human Events, she added:
I repeat: Bolton has been nominated to be ambassador to the United Nations. It's not like it's an important job. Get a grip, people! He's not replacing Paula Abdul on "American Idol."
The UN is an organization with thousands of people from all over the world with one thing in common: They badly need to be yelled at, preferably by a guy who looks like Wilford Brimley. When did collegiality with representatives from North Korea and Syria become a pressing national issue?
Why just imagine if Bolton raised his voice in front of Sudan's ambassador, or (gasp!) Burma's! I mean, Myanmar's! (Sorry, military junta that runs Myanmar!)
Democrats are enflamed at the idea of Bolton's mistreating representatives of slave-traders and dictators, but won't lift a finger to help the staff of "Today." We used to be a country that cared about ratings genocide.
MEPs shoot down reform of their percs.
«The 732-assembly voted against tighter auditing control of their pensions payments and generous office allowance and refused to back a move to have their travel expenses reimbursed at cost value.And on swift and meaningful governance:
Those opposing reform, led by a large lobby of French, Germans and Italians, also rejected the idea of publishing their expenses on the internet and imposing sanctions for those who disobey the rules.
The votes "gave an all-clear to embezzlement", said the leader of the British Liberal Democrats, Chris Davies.
"After the votes today people across Europe can hardly be blamed if they think that some MEPs are engaged in corrupt practices, and that they dont belong in parliament but in jail."»
«Efforts have been going on without success for more than a decade to agree on a new pay and expenses system for MEPs.»Indeed
The NorKs are getting ready to fumble, preparing for a nuclear weapon test, and will certainly use it to extort hard currency from China, Japan, the U.S., and South Korea.
«"The North Koreans have learned how to use irrationality as a bargaining tool," a senior source said.»
Kim Jong Il's viewing platform construction is said to resemble a disorganized and frenetic ant colony.
"No, Dear Leader, radiation cannot harm Stalinist übermenschen, really."
Sunday, May 08, 2005
As for the president himself, he declared that
We come to this ground to recall the evil these Americans fought against … we come to this ground to remember the cause for which these soldiers fought and triumphed. At the outset of the war, there were those who believed that democracy was too soft to survive, especially against a Nazi Germany, that boasted the most professional, well-equipped and highly-trained military forces in the world.
Yet, this military would be brought down by a coalition of armies from our democratic allies and freedom fighters from occupied lands and underground resistance leaders. They fought side-by-side with American GIs, who, only months before, had been farmers and bank clerks and factory hands. And the world's tyrants learned a lesson: There is no power like the power of freedom, and no soldier as strong as a soldier who fights for that freedom.
How can France's elite sell the EU constitution?asks John Vinocur in the International Herald Tribune.
Two standard French procedures — the anti-American lever that says the Yanks want a unified Europe to fail, and the government tactic to smooth out opposition by giving in to every current demand in the labor arena — are not producing. Neither have the "yes" camp arguments that all of Europe is devastated by the prospect of a French "no," and that a rejection will be catastrophic for France.
On April 14, in a largely botched television outing when Jacques Chirac thought he could turn the tide in a two-hour debate with young people, he grabbed the first 20 minutes to cast the referendum as a showdown between a "humanist" Europe with France at its center, and the cold, mercenary world of the Anglo-Saxons.
Revving up the rhetoric, Chirac described the United States' intention as stopping the construction of Europe. …
On its own initiative, the Bush administration has made it clear that it doesn't like being misrepresented on the constitutional issue by Chirac, all the more since it could not easily be against a treaty that presages Turkey's entry into the EU. Considering a couple of centuries' history of opportunistic anti-Americanism in France, the Bush people might just think their most excruciatingly subtle response would be to say flat out they're in the "yes" camp with Chirac.
Dennis Boyle, National Review's Euro Press Review columnist tires of dealing with the dull rat's nest of European press and politics. He's decided to move to Kansas.
On his way, he takes a few parting shots at the BBC and the American
middle-minded twits who rebroadcast it.
Definately "must hear radio!" in the 'hood. NPR is the sister organization to PBS, an outfit that, like NPR stations, goes begging on the air twice a year even though they are flush with a huge financial endowment. They normally do this by putting a gun to Big-Birds head threatening to childrens programming off the air. Their REAL stock in trade is pimping radical lefty memes as mere-Christianty of sorts for fat-cat doner organizations which are funded by the likes of George Soros and Jane Fonda. See? THERE are your fundies!
He also anticipates a Raffarin-redux for Chirac, but who can tell?
Here's your fabulous freaking socialized medicine... Kill them off of they need any.
Endless thanks to The Adventuress who, unlike the NHS and the proponents of Hillary-Care has her head screwed on straight.
She also poits out the irony in a BBC report about how a comatose man who suddenly emerged from this condition is "not like Terry Schiavo".
The hell he isn't - neither of them were on life support, they were just curiously inconvenient to someone. In the case of a Briton, this horribly aggreived party would be called the state.
There was even a (Don't) "Have Your Say" section associated with it. Largely, there is outrage, which is what you would expect if you knew that you're about to unwillingly give your life to the state for no clear reason:
«What have we become? How can we even think such a thing. Just the thought that we would suggest allowing older people to die is beyond shame. God should decide when we die not some pompous ass in a white coat.There's a welfare state for you. All state, and no welfare. They have finally found what even a fool could tell you: sooner or later, there won't be anything left to forcably redistribute.
I see you are marching down the road to the elderly having a duty to die.»
Meanwhile, among the youngest and most gullible, a
muse deluded and exploited young person emerges:
«I wanna [sic] go to Venezuela - By Rachel EvansFeel free to puke.
Land to the poor, schools to the young
Dentists for them all so smiles beam
at victory stories talked and revolt stories sung
word on the street is the gifts are as theyve seen
Factories to the workers, bold in their new hour
unions taking heart at the blatant army support
of the developing, loud and public seizure of state power
and the old tell the young of the battles theyve fought
Food for the people, granted in this new day
Nourishes the old: offered societys thick new coats
The youth sing along, high pitched and equal in their say
With no choking sadness gripping their awakened throats»