Saturday, June 25, 2005

Haven't we seen this before? And found it repugnant?

via John Ray's PC Watch blog, the vulgar notion from the UK that comedy needs to be pasteurized of anything controversial:

Has the history of difficulty comedians had in the Soviet Union been forgotten? The positive and lovable but not always funny Yakov Smirnov learned this lesson from his struggle with the illiberal culture of Soviet minding, squealing, and censorship, and he ran away.

To add to that Rowan Atkinson spoke for a large group of comedians, artists, writers, and performers - warning that there are (possibly unintended) stifling consequences to Britain's proposed anti-religious-hatred incitement legislation. Even the nanny state proponent Polly Toynbee found in repugnant, calling it a platform for accusation by social factions and not offended individuals. Atkinson's point was clear and apolitical: it is a violation of the basic free speech which allows for the creative spirit, and that anyone free to incite can be just as freely rebutted.

I doubt that performers will begin to flee, but one could always hope that the un-PC Ali G. might set up shop on Broadway.

Success = Chicanery, Failure = Victimization

The new lefty puritanism, as described in Evan Sayet's blog, Sayet Right:

«The multiculturalist further hates America because, when all people, culture and forms of government are equally good and equally right, the only possible explanation for success is chicanery. Similarly the only explanation for failure is victimization.»
Evan pulls no punches - his blog is well worth a read.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Biden His Time

While announcing his intent to seek the 2008 presidential nomination, reports Daniel Henninger, Senator Joseph Biden had suggestions about the war in Iraq.
In the crucial area of security, Sen. Biden exhorted the administration to pursue "legitimate foreign offers to train Iraqi forces outside of Iraq" so that "Iraqi forces could focus on actually learning something." He cited two examples: "The French have offered . . . to train 1,500 gendarmes, 1,500 real live paramilitary police, train them in France to send them back to Iraq." I'll second this if Sen. Biden promises not to complain when the Iraqi cops start using French detention and deportation practices that make Guantanamo look like the Garden of Eden.

When Johnny Djamel comes marching home
Watch for when French youth come home and play with their new toys. A bit of that new Sarkozy zero tolerance will be in order.
Ça va péter quand les chères têtes blondes franchouilles rentreront chez eux et déballeront leurs nouveaux jouets. Un peu de nettoyage façon Sarkoboyz sera de rigueur.

Marketing with the Ché cult

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Eugenics Argument should be Right Around the Corner

I thought racist-classist-sexist-ageist "conditioning" is what was wrong with the world?

Is it the selective "gay gene" argument, or the übermensch argument that they're going to make of this? I give Kos and Atrios 48 hours.

Why would it only apply to one sort of ideology? Do they only study "their own", and identifying others' beliefs as a defect?

The New York Times reports on a sketchy study of political attitudes. This is not the beginning of a "three guys are sitting at a bar" joke:

«Three political scientists . . . combed survey data from two large continuing studies including more than 8,000 sets of twins.

From an extensive battery of surveys on personality traits, religious beliefs and other psychological factors, the researchers selected 28 questions most relevant to political behavior. The questions asked people "to please indicate whether or not you agree with each topic," or are uncertain on issues like property taxes, capitalism, unions and X-rated movies. Most of the twins had a mixture of conservative and progressive views. But over all, they leaned slightly one way or the other.»

Though shalt....

James Woudhuysen writing in the Architectural web-mag "Audacity" has taken up the collision of do-gooding "commandments" of the nanny state, and the way they beat on professions to come through for them.

«Thou shalt not install lifts and escalators - even in tomorrow's new Bullrings. Of course, thou shalt marvel at the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act coming into force. But since thou shalt also show no obesity, even older workers must take some exercise by climbing stairs.»
So while they're trying to draw you to the attention to the heart on their sleeve, some of the strictures don't look that far from the actions of an authoritarian regime:

«Thou shalt never conduct an office move again. Moves burn fossil fuels and increase carbon emissions. They are also deeply stressful, and likely to fall foul of the Health and Safety Executive, which in the year 2003 to 2004 '... achieved 122% of the target for inspector time allocated to stress' (4) Pretty stressful for the inspectors, at least!

Thou shalt install videocameras. They're needed to smite down workplace smoking, workplace bullying and shopping centre smacking, too.»

Governments tend to suffer from planning (and micromanagement) fever - that is when they aren't correcting a past failed bout with the Marburg virus of "planning":
«Thou shalt expect to communicate more during the Full Inquisition that will surround every planning process. Will that new facility verily generate quantifiable benefits for the local community? Will it regenerate Britain's regions, once they heroically adopt their frightfully democratic Regional Assemblies? Thou shalt have the arguments and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the lawyers to hand.»

How about "Though shall leave property owners to use at least SOME of their own good judgment, leave them with some rights over what they own, and not try to browbeat them through their Architect"? It'll never happen. They have too may laws to enact.

Even sperm think Tofu is evil

Avoiding soya 'may aid fertility' I though it was the kind of woman who orders no-foam-wet-extra-hot-soy-latte-moocachino-such and suches that make your sperm want to burn out. Or maybe talks for half an hour about her no-foam-wet-extra-hot-soy-latte-moocachino-such and such.

We are unsure, but amused. Donut and an espresse that will wake the dead, anyone?

Let's shout it to prisoners everywhere: If you're not harmed by an American, your suffering doesn't count

The demands to shut down our Guantanamo lock-up for terrorists have nothing to do with human rights
states Ralph Peters (thanks to Gregory), who is appalled by the lack of sympathy the left feels toward the victims of any regime other than the Bush administration.
They're about punishing America for our power and success. From our ailing domestic left to overseas America haters, no one really cares about the fate of Mustapha the Murderer or Ahmed the Assassin. The lies told about Gitmo are meant to undercut U.S. foreign policy and embarrass America. The … one thing the protests aren't about is human rights. …

The truth is that the terrorists and their defenders have something in common. … It's that neither can be appeased. … You can't negotiate with terrorists. And you cannot reason with ideologues — whether they're Islamist fanatics or pathetic old lefties fishing for a cause to give meaning to squandered lives. Terrorists, French and German neo-Stalinists, and our own democracy-hating intelligentsia aren't interested in facts. …

What should enrage every decent citizen is that the real torturers — from Zimbabwe to China, from Syria to North Korea — get a pass from the political left. If terrorists behead defenseless captives on videotape, it's simply an expression of their culture. But if a handful of U.S. troops play an ugly round of Candid Camera, that's a new gulag. …

Is that a bomb in your pants or are you just happy to see me?

From Honest Reporting:

«Attempted suicide bomber
Wafa al-Bas Yesterday (June 20), a Palestinian woman took advantage of a humanitarian medical clearance to attempt a suicide bombing of an Israeli hospital. Israeli security caught Wafa al-Bas at a Gaza checkpoint and safely detonated the explosives that had been tied to her undergarments. »

«Al-Bas explained to reporters why she carried out the act:
...I believe in death... Since I was a little girl I wanted to carry out an attack.

Though media outlets often rationalize Palestinian suicide terror as a 'desperate' response to Israeli wrongdoing, al-Bas' statement is the latest indication that the main motivation for the heinous crime is a twisted, lifelong aspiration to achieve 'greatness' via mass murder. »

Wafa, don't be a hero.

«A primary source of this problem is incitement in Palestinian media and culture. On Sunday (June 19) PA President Mahmoud Abbas told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and western reporters that official Palestinian media 'no longer incites against Israel'. »
Aw... The poor little oppressed attempted murderer. She was just trying to please the folks and get an audition for Hamas-Idol.

So what if closing Gitmo lets hundreds of jihadists out of their prison cages and into their terror cells?

…so what if closing Gitmo lets hundreds of jihadists out of their prison cages and into their terror cells?
asks Diana West rhetorically.
"Sure, a few may come back to haunt us," writes [the New York Times' Thomas] Friedman. But being haunted — which presumably requires some additional number of American dead to do the haunting — is apparently a risk worth taking in order to win the war.

I'm not talking about the so-called "war on terror." It seem there's been a change in focus. Islamic jihad is out. The war on "image" is in. And, according to the anti-Gitmo-nists, we're getting creamed. Go figure: "They" kill people over a soggy Quran, and "we" lose the image war -- and all over the world…

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Intolerance and America’s west coast

Blogatrix Cathy Seipp writing in the National Review, relates the tender mild ways of the left. Even as it relates to a man expelling his feelings about Los Angeles based cartoonist Michael Martinez’ boss, editor Michael Kinsley:
«“Why do you keep him on?” one guy wailed, in tones that suggested he was wearing a monocle while peering at a cockroach.

Kinsley patiently explained that the Times hasn't run [George] Will's syndicated column in years (presumably some readers still suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome from the horror of the memory) and that a left-leaning editorial board needs to be balanced by some right-leaning signed columns. Regarding Michael Ramirez, he added: "This is the question I get more than any other: Michael Ramirez, how can I kill him?"»
To put the state of California into a context, here is one ¡No Pasaràn! reader’s take on what this state of social affairs holds for our future:
«I spent 6 months in 2000 in San Jose (SF, Oakland, and SJ form the 'Bay Area'). The whole of San Francisco has been termed the "world's largest outdoor lunatic asylum" by [KSFO radio personality] Lee Rodgers. The entire city is a socialist looney-land -- just what the Democrats would love to remake America into.
I went through there in 1997 on a tourist pilgrimage to drive the California coast from SF to LA by convertible, starting at the Golden Gate Bridge. To get there, I had to drive through San Francisco from south to north. When I did that, I saw people living in their cars with laundry strung from wires attached to cars at one end and to telephone poles at the other.

I was later informed that the route I took wasn't even through the seediest portions of the city, where I was assured that Amsterdam has already been surpassed. You can guess how all of these people vote.

The rest of the Bay Area isn't much better. A few days before my departure from the place -- which was just before the election -- some colleagues took me out to lunch. The conversation turned to the election, and every one of them planned to vote for Gore. Many of them couldn't articulate a reason why.»
So there you have it – To be sure electing Arnold Schwarzenegger is a temporary seeming palliative by those outside of California’s cities, and the handful within who hope for the reintroduction of some common sense. In full view are the rewards of leftism it seems is anger, poverty, and a declining quality of life, not to mention a degraded view of living. It is impossible to look past all of this when those on one side of the Atlantic wish for an America that looks more like Europe. It should be no surprise that the notion is received with considerable resistance.

Treating foreign terrorists like American shoplifters is a surefire recipe for another 9/11

Treating foreign terrorists like American shoplifters [or harmless traffic offenders] — with full access to civilian lawyers, classified intelligence, and all the attendant rights of a normal jury trial — is a surefire recipe for another 9/11
states Michelle Malkin.
That is why the Bush administration fought so hard to erect an alternative tribunal system — long established in wartime — in the first place.

[Are] John McCain and the anti-Gitmo gang … too clueless to realize the implications of their gulag-Pol Pot-Nazi-Eichmann-hellhole harangues?

Do we really want a Europe that sees itself as a counterweight to America, chiefly by virtue of its willingness to do business w/ unpleasant regimes?

...all of a sudden we can say what we want to say
writes committed Europhile David Aaronvitch (as quoted by Eursoc, with thanks to Gregory) who evokes "the essentially tragic figure of Jacques Chirac — now fulfilling his blind historic destiny as assassin of all his own hopes".
If peasant agriculture is la vraie France why should we subsidise it at ruinous cost when our own industries such as coal-mining, surely la vraie Bretagne, all had to go to the wall? And doesn’t the EU in its language and practices ape those of the patrician political classes of France and Benelux, rather than the more demotic approach of Britain and the new accession states? Do we really want a Europe that sees itself as a “political counterweight” to America, chiefly by virtue of its willingness to do business with unpleasant regimes?

TCS: A cautionary tale on the leftist doping effect

An Iranian immigrant writes on the >social effect of the Scandinavian style welfare state:

«The strong work ethic that we had brought from our home countries simpered away and we became used to the idea that social security was responsible for our lives.»

The only way to maintain ones dignity is by entertaining delusions, it seems:
«We never resorted to crime in the camps, but we became accustomed to the idea that there was no reason for us to work. A myth among the Iranian refugees was that the money that we each month received was what the previous Iranian Shah had lent to the Swedish government, or that it came from the UN. In any case, there was no reason to be grateful to the system for receiving it.»

"I don't leave my hotel"?!? She's a call-girl or a journalist?"je ne quitte pas mon hôtel." ?!? Elle est call-girl ou journaliste?
French journalism in all it's glory. Anne-Sophie Le Mauff, French 'journalist' ordered to leave Iraq, responds: "I don't understand this decision. I do my job, I'm careful, I don't leave my hotel."
Le journalisme fwançais dans toute sa splendeur. Réponse d'Anne-Sophie Le Mauff, 'journaliste' franchouille qui a été sommée de quitter l'Irak: "Je ne comprends pas cette décision. Je fais mon boulot, je suis prudente, je ne quitte pas mon hôtel."

Other people's moneyAvec le pognon des autres
"Why should the British taxpayer subsidise an ersatz French heritage park about as authentic as Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame? Pierre's given up the church and the family, what's the big deal about giving up the farm?"
"Pourquoi le contribuable britannique devrait-il subventionner un ersatz de Parc National du Patrimoine Français tout aussi authentique qu'un Quasimodo de chez Disney? Pierre a déjà laissé tomber l'église et la famille, de là à laisser tomber la ferme, pourquoi pas ?"

Ivory Coast November 2004, French soldiers shoot into a crowd of civiliansAbidjan novembre 2004, les militaires fwançais tirent sur les civils

Do join in... 27 June, 12.30 at Lafayette Park, Washington, DC

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Europe of totalitarianism, in which communism, fascism and Nazism competed to impose regulations on every aspect of human existence

What is notoriously evident among the EU elite is not just a lack of intellectual power but an obstinacy and blindness bordering on imbecility
writes Paul Johnson.
Jacques Chirac reacted by appointing as prime minister Domin[i]que de Villepin, a frivolous playboy who has never been elected to anything and is best known for his view that Napoleon should have won the Battle of Waterloo and continued to rule Europe.

… The fundamental weaknesses of the EU that must be remedied if it is to survive are threefold. First, it has tried to do too much, too quickly and in too much detail. Jean Monnet, architect of the Coal-Steel Pool, the original blueprint for the EU, always said: "Avoid bureaucracy. Guide, do not dictate. Minimal rules." He had been brought up in, and learned to loathe, the Europe of totalitarianism, in which communism, fascism and Nazism competed to impose regulations on every aspect of human existence. He recognized that the totalitarian instinct lies deep in European philosophy and mentality--in Rousseau and Hegel as well as Marx and Nietzsche--and must be fought against with all the strength of liberalism, which he felt was rooted in Anglo-Saxon individualism.

In fact, for an entire generation, the EU has gone in the opposite direction and created a totalitarian monster of its own, spewing out regulations literally by the million and invading every corner of economic and social life. The results have been dire: An immense bureaucracy in Brussels, each department of which is cloned in all the member capitals. A huge budget, masking unprecedented corruption, so that it has never yet been passed by auditors, and which is now a source of venom among taxpayers from the countries which pay more than they receive. Above all, règlementation of national economies on a totalitarian scale.

The EU's economic philosophy, insofar as it has one, is epitomized by one word: "convergence." The aim is to make all national economies identical with the perfect model. This, as it turns out, is actually the perfect formula for stagnation. What makes the capitalist system work, what keeps economies dynamic, is precisely nonconformity, the new, the unusual, the eccentric, the egregious, the innovative, springing from the inexhaustible inventiveness of human nature. Capitalism thrives on the absence of rules or the ability to circumvent them.

… It is natural that high and chronic unemployment generates a depressive anger which finds many expressions. One, in Europe today, is anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism. Another is exceptionally low birthrates, lower in Europe than anywhere else in the world except Japan. If present trends continue, the population of Europe (excluding the British Isles) will be less than the United States by midcentury--under 400 million, with the over-65s constituting one-third of that.

The rise of anti-Americanism, a form of irrationalism deliberately whipped up by Messrs. Schröder and Chirac, who believe it wins votes, is particularly tragic, for the early stages of the EU had their roots in admiration of the American way of doing things and gratitude for the manner in which the U.S. had saved Europe first from Nazism, then (under President Harry Truman) from the Soviet Empire--by the Marshall Plan in 1947 and the creation of NATO in 1949.

Europe's founding fathers--Monnet himself, Robert Schumann in France, Alcide de Gasperi in Italy and Konrad Adenauer in Germany--were all fervently pro-American and anxious to make it possible for European populations to enjoy U.S.-style living standards. Adenauer in particular, assisted by his brilliant economics minister Ludwig Erhardt, rebuilt Germany's industry and services, following the freest possible model. This was the origin of the German "economic miracle," in which U.S. ideas played a determining part. The German people flourished as never before in their history, and unemployment was at record low levels. The decline of German growth and the present stagnation date from the point at which her leaders turned away from America and followed the French "social market" model.

Jacques Chirac as Marcel Marceau

The AFP reports that
Italian newspapers Friday laid into France's President Jacques Chirac, labelling him an obstacle to the course of the European Union and calling on Italy to swing over to Britain's vision of the future of the bloc.

"Everyone knows that President Roosevelt has ties to 'big beer'"

Contacted at his Manhattan condo, a member of the French government-in-exile who abandoned Paris when Hitler invaded, said the invasion was based solely on American financial interests
said Dr. Bill Wattenburg as he quoted MSM reports on D-Day from the 1940s (danke zu Frank).
"Everyone knows that President Roosevelt has ties to 'big beer'," said Pierre LeWimp. "Once the German beer industry is conquered, Roosevelt's beer cronies will control the world market and make a fortune."

Administration supporters said America's aggressive actions were based in part on the assertions of controversial scientist Albert Einstein, who sent a letter to Roosevelt speculating that the Germans were developing a secret weapon -- a so-called "atomic bomb". Such a weapon could produce casualties on a scale never seen before, and cause environmental damage that could last for thousands of years. Hitler has denied having such a weapon and international inspectors were unable to locate such weapons even after spending two long weekends in Germany.

Shortly after the invasion began, reports surfaced that German prisoners had been abused by American soldiers. Mistreatment of Jews by Germans at their so-called "concentration camps" has been rumored, but so far this remains unproven.
Eyewitness account (thanks to RV): Live from Normandy

Reassurance From French Minister That Nothing But His Country's Principles Were at Work

"On July 5 I shall go to Washington", [French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Sunday]. "I shall go first to say that for me Americans are friends, that we shall never forget what they have done, what we owe them.

"Sometimes we disagree. I am thinking above all of the Kyoto process (on climate change), or two years ago, our position on Iraq," he said.

"When you have a friend and you disagree you have to tell him."

A sound statement of principles, as it were, but only insofar as it is practiced with something looking somewhat like a fair, objective, and impartial manner, and not a product of self-serving double standards.

As it happens, France never bothers to tell Russia when it disagrees with its policies (in fact, it hardly disagrees with Moscow at all).

France never bothers to tell China when it disagrees with its policies (in fact, it hardly disagrees with Beijing at all).

France never bothers to tell Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, and Rwanda when it disagrees with their policies (in fact, it hardly disagrees with those African countries at all).

France never bothers to tell Iran when it disagrees with its policies (in fact, it hardly disagrees with Tehran at all).

France never bothers to tell the United Nations when it disagrees with its decisions (in fact, it hardly disagrees with any international bodies at all).

And, of course, France never bothered to tell Saddam Hussein when it disagreed with his policies (in fact, it hardly disagreed with Baghdad at all).

Unless, of course, the countries in question, or their governments, chose to pursue policies which Paris did not deem to be in line with its (economic) interests, never mind its self-proclaimed position as guardian of the planet's human rights…

With friends like this, Uncle Sam…

Much of the criticism of American efforts, both international and domestic, is factually wrong and driven by a partisan hostility to President Bush

It’s important what the rest of the world thinks of the United States
admits Senator Jon Kyl.
But it’s more important that we defend ourselves against terrorists who seek our annihilation. Much of the criticism of our efforts, both international and domestic, is factually wrong and appears to be driven by a partisan hostility to President Bush.

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. military base where a $150 million facility has been built to house detainees in the war on terrorism, individuals who might better be described as “people who will kill Americans if given half a chance.”

At the hearing, Democrats criticized the Bush Administration, alleging that the 520 prisoners are in “legal limbo,” that “there is no plan exactly how they're going to be handled,” that their “rights under the Geneva Conventions have been violated,” and that they deserve some sort of a “trial” or they should be released. A big problem if true, but none of it is.

The detainees at Guantanamo are not in a legal limbo any more than any other prisoners in any other war were in limbo when they were captured. International law allows any nation the right to detain enemy combatants for the duration of a conflict. The primary reason is to prevent them from killing more Americans, and, secondarily, to gather useful intelligence.

… Those who remain in detention — a tiny fraction of the 10,000 enemy combatants we have picked up over the past few years — are terrorist trainers, bomb makers, extremist recruiters and financers, bodyguards of Osama bin Laden, would-be suicide bombers, and so forth. Because they indiscriminately target civilians and are not fighting for another particular country, among other reasons, these individuals do not qualify for the protections of the Geneva Conventions. Nonetheless, official U.S. policy is to apply Geneva standards, including access to lawyers, Red Cross visits, and so forth. Every single detainee receives a new review every year to determine whether he still poses a risk. That would seem to be a reasonable standard for a country at war, and surely a credible “plan” for “handling” their cases.

The recent flurry of partisan and international criticism of the handling of Islamic sensibilities at Guantanamo, sparked by a discredited Newsweek report that a copy of the Koran was flushed down a toilet, must have Osama bin Laden rolling with laughter. None of the critics had previously displayed much concern over the abuse of Muslims by other Muslims, as occurs every day in Iraq. The reality is that virtually all prisoners are better fed and cared for at Guantanamo than they have ever been in their lives. They are certainly treated well in comparison to those Westerners taken captive by terrorists in Iraq, who are typically beheaded.

"We'll keep trying to separate Guantánamo facts from fiction": Read also Kevin Edward Moley's point-by-pont response accompanied by specific references to the Geneva convention…

An update from North Korea (thanks to Hervé)

Dear Abby for the self-detonation set

Sunday, June 19, 2005

New sticker ideas: the way leftist activists see themselves

Use the graphics as you wish.

Please to Deconstruct...

Is it posing to promote Voodoo cures for AIDS of some sort of maudlin display of recreational “compassion”? Is it all that different than thinking that you can free Florence Aubenas and her fixer Hussein Hanoun Al-Saadi, by making demands to governments who didn’t have any influence over the situation anyway, or holding music festivals in Paris? So, in the way that all of that anonymous nonsence did nothing to free them, how do stars posing nude "fight" HIV/AIDS?

It reminds me very much of this item which somehow got through the BBC’s Political Correctness early-warning-system:
«The author said "mourning sickness" was a substitute for religion.

In his report,
Conspicuous Compassion, author Patrick West said people were trying to feel better about themselves by taking part in "manufactured emotion".

Describing extravagant public displays of grief for strangers as 'grief-lite' Mr West said these activities were, "undertaken as an enjoyable event, much like going to a football match or the last night of the proms".

"But these new bonds are phoney, ephemeral and cynical," he said.»

...naked or otherwise, something even more important is still being hidden.