Saturday, January 14, 2006

James Wolcott, misogynist and Anti-Semite

He’s like a social butterfly, with a solipsistic Manson-esque twist. Opening himself up to the obvious, he went after Pamela, the twisted sister behind the top-shelf blog “Atlas Shrugs.”

Said Pamela of that strange man with the 'Thumb Fetish':

«For Wolcott, if you are a woman with an opinion that differs from his, you are tits and ass, chum for his pack of mindless dogs.»
Do you really want to know just how much of a hack he is? Here’s a sample:
«Hindered by the bashful modesty that is the byproduct of my Catholic upbringing, I can't take credit for the swift cosmic justice meted out to Michael Fumento after he saw fit to challenge me in a war of wits.»
Good grief. He WRITES for a living? I wouldn’t bring stock Manhattan pedantry about Catholicism, let alone the writer’s upbringing up in the first sentence of an essay – and I DRAW for a living. Writing as though you are your greatest subject just makes people think you’re either reckless or Phyllis Diller.

Calling someone a “zesty Zionist party girl” does a nice job of proving that he haven’t had anything to say for years, and can’t even dope out Zionism from any of his other moronic pieties.

Va te branler, James.

One for the money, two for the show

One man of dubious talent leaves because of malaise and taxes, the other man of dubious talent (selected, not elected) stays for his meal-ticket.

Unités de la putréfaction d'habitation

Yet another survey of work on the unintentionally cruel inventor of Les Cités is reviewed by Le Monde. It prompts me to think of the modernist age when Architects wanted to be thought of as social thinkers, and they tried to pawn off their megalomania as a lecture about people needing to eat their spinach:

«Too much of modern building construction is done because it is possible, not because it is a good idea. Many of the structures built by Dutch architects in the 1920s and 30s include brick used in tension, and it soon requires major and costly repairs. Arrogance is a dangerous quality in an architect, and one that is all too common. Le Corbusier must have been about the most arrogant man who ever lived. »
With apologies to one of his more mature fans, of course.

Japan's Snow Country

Check out the IHT's slide show on Japan's Snow Country.

Let’s bust out the good Scotch, habibi

But before we do the happy dance, let us compare and contrast:

CBS: Air Strike May Have Targeted Zawahiri
37 other stories: Pakistani Military Sources Say Zawahiri May Be Dead

CBS: Author Talks About The Osama He Knows
CNN: Sources: Airstrike may have killed Bin Laden's No. 2

But I digress.

The man who conspired the assassination Anwar Sadat, among others, might be dead.

If this proves true, well, my nipples would explode with delight.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Number 2 in the number 2 business accuses number 1 (in the no. 2 business) of intellectual theft

The Socialist Party accuses Chirac of being both an “Ultra-liberal” and of stealing their ideas.

As if. It’s so silly, that even Figaro pulled the story, but found an extract at Socialist Party “PS Rising” blog: “Le PS accuse Chirac de lui prendre ses idées

Pffftnchtssssfft! [Milk dripping from nose]
Sorry. Ahem. Excerpts from the article by Myriam Lévy:

The PS accuses Chirac of stealing their political platform

«Because it is easy for the PS to cry about "ultraliberal" policies, and other "gifts to employers", it is not easy to play its role as the opposition when one the president takes their ideas and implements them. In this respect, this week of presidential promises was a doozy. Jacques Chirac took another one of the Socialists’ planks: workers’ pensions, an idea which originated with the CGT that has been making its’ way through the last congress.


On December 1, the majority party (the UMP) had however disallowed the socialist private bill which proclaimed, in its explanatory text that it was necessary that "the best pupils of each school in France have a right of access to the preparatory classes to the major national schools", only to state that they were drafting the same project just in time for the 2007 presidential election.

The PS tries to reassure itself. Since the "innovations" found in the President’s speech "are drawn from the Socialists’ platform", said François Rebsamen, the vice-chairman of the party, "it would be preferable that they are the Socialists themselves which implement them in 2007". For François Holland, "it is an old ‘methode chiraquienne’ to steal other people’s lines to silence his opponents".

To begin with, the PS does not want the right to have a monopoly on security matters, as it had done in 2002. "One will start to draw up the assessment of the government on the matter", said a senior PS official. The way in which the Socialists got whipped up over the attack on the Nice-Lyon train shows well that this battle has already started. It has the advantage of being politically useful to them along with using the “rural alliance” against the government as a whole, and Nicolas Sarkozy in particular. As for Jacques Chirac, who called the train affair unacceptable, François Holland replied "he made safety his platform in 2002, and has to acknowledgements it’s impotence".»
So what, you say? Who cares as long as it keeps pink from turning into a darker shade of red? Simply this: the ideas suck anyway, and if he HAD a belief system he wouldn’t be a policy whore to stay in power.

If you don't see terror, does that mean it can't possibly exist?

Tell me, why wouldn’t the mainstream media report this?:

Major Terror Plot Against US Ignored By US Media

«Italian authorities recently announced that they had used
wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S.

Italian Interior Minister
Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists' goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.

"U.S. terror attacks foiled," read the headline in England's Sunday Times. In France, a headline from Agence France Presse proclaimed, "Three Algerians arrested in Italy over plot targeting U.S."

"My impression is that the major media want to use the
NSA story to try and impeach the president," says Cliff Kincaid, editor of the Accuracy in Media Report published by the grassroots Accuracy in Media organization.

Associated Press version of the story did not disclose that the men planned to target the U.S. Nor did it report that the evidence against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.

Furthermore, only one American newspaper, the
Philadelphia Inquirer, is known to have published the story that the AP distributed. It ran on page A-6 under the headline "Italy Charges 3 Algerians." The Inquirer report also made no mention of the plot to target the U.S. - although foreign publications included this information in the headlines and lead sentences of their stories. Nor did it advise readers that domestic wiretaps played a key role in nabbing the suspected terrorists.

"It's clear to me," says
AIM's Kincaid, "that they're trying their best to make this NSA program to be an impeachable offense, saying it is directed at ordinary Americans. That's why they keep referring to this as a 'program of spying on Americans' - whereas the president keeps pointing out it's a program designed to uncover al-Qaida operations on American soil."»

“The Free Encyclopedia” – a project to construct lies and rewrite history

There will always be people out there for whom reason is not terribly relevant, people who casually toss out statements in an attempt to make their emotions into facts, and find events to be little more than pliable instrument to support their view of the world. To set out on such a project is to plan to construct lies in plain daylight.

Their motives are often laid bare within the same paragraph. How much of the second thought has anything to do with 9/11:

«With the Internet, the stratagems used by war-planners to trick civilian populations into fighting wars is becoming common knowledge. Because of this, 9/11 is now recognized as the latest incident in a long-line of state-sponsored war pretext incidents.

In general, the Internet has served as a disruptive technology to the "business model" usually employed by the ruling classes throughout history: tricking the mass of humanity into killing each other off in wars designed to increase the profits of their overlords.

This website represents a collaborative initiative to document the findings of the 9/11 Truth Movement and to facilitate and speed the emergence of 9/11 truth into the mainstream media.

The 2.0 represents the 9/11 Truth Movement's push to cause a second wave of understanding concerning 9/11 to engulf the public consciousness.»
I occasionally meet people like this. They are only capable of understanding another world view when you put it in the context of their own lives, or to try to have them empathize with someone else’s. I tell them about what I saw of the lives of the people living in the socialist paradise of the DDR when I lived there, often to get nothing more than a dull stare that comes with the precursor of being aware of anything outside their extremely limited frame of reference.

Note the use of 40 year old language about “false consciousness”, the attempt to revive the image from the fever swamps of a ratty off-campus apartments in the 70s with hip sounding software termonology, and the lack of guilt at coming right out and telling the reader that they plan on re-writing events.

It’s done with the same desperation of past attempts at keeping reality at bay from the garrets of their isolationism and lack of understanding of people outside of the subculture in their own societies, let alone any other place on earth. The saddest part is that the link appeared as a Google Ad.

Follow the money.

The persistent heaviness of being

Sarko joins the pod people, and Joel Shepherd goes home. Like a media with built-in limitations which requires a prominent polititian to circumvent them, the young in France feel the economic malaise (emboldened by, and emboldening the social malaise) all around them, and circumventing their own society. They are tuning in, dropping out, and, how to put it, um, leaving, dammit:

«My French teacher at the language school on Boulevard de Grenelle is well aware of the malaise. She’s young, blonde and pretty with startling blue eyes and that effortless Parisien fashion sense that manages to make her look like a model while utilising only one or two accessories. Her favourite topic for discussion in class? ‘France en reinseignement’... or France in decline, broadly speaking. The politicians are crooked, the unions are always striking, the schools are no good, unemployment is terrible and the government doesn’t give people any freedom. Clearly she loves her country, she’s just annoyed that it doesn’t always function as advertised.

A lot of young French people appear to feel the same. Whatever the traditional French disdain for private enterprise, commerce and business degrees are amongst the most popular university courses. Many graduates then leave the country for better opportunities elsewhere, the kind of brain drain usually found in poor developing nations. Everyone seems to want to learn English. Passports to success, it seems, are no longer trusted when they’re issued by the state.

And small wonder. For many French, ‘liberal’ remains a pejorative. The French Revolution didn’t just lop off the king’s head, it enshrined the State in his place as the new sovereign. In some ways, perhaps, it was easier to kill the king than it was to kill the notion of kingliness. In France, someone is always in charge. Today, the bureaucracy is bloated and all-powerful. Bureaucrats rule their petty fiefdoms like little Napoleons, and the state regulates everything it can see. Welfare rules the lives of millions, and entrepreneurialism as understood in Australia or America is almost non-existent. People don’t just go out and do things, people wait to be told what to do.»

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tes papiers !

Egypt won't let the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau through the Suez Canal unless the French can come up with some official document stating that the ship does not contain any hazardous materials (it's going to India to be taken apart once it has its asbestos ripped out). Oh, and Greenpeace ecoterrorists are now aboard the vessel poking about.

The quest for never-ending good PR


«The French Ministry reported an overall 1.3 percent drop in crime and delinquency last year, compared to 2003. But the number of violent incidents committed against other individuals rose to 5,000 last year.

More than 45,000 vehicles were torched last year, according to the report. That includes an estimated 10,000 incinerations during the riots that swept France last October and November.

The unrest was largely blamed on ethnic-immigrant youths
Which loverboy calls a source of victimhood:
«The French have had two months to sort out the lessons of last fall's riots in predominately Muslim neighborhoods. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin says the rioting was caused by racial bias, lack of business opportunity and insufficient education for immigrant children.

He vows tax breaks for business, better education for immigrant children and tougher enforcement of antibias laws. For this conclusion, the French media, more left-wing than the American press, praised him.»
And to think that these people get re-elected only because they make the public’s head hurt LESS than the NeoComs and PS do.

"C'est comme ça"

Opining on the HP withdrawal from l’hexagon, a computer engineer formerly employed in California’s high-tech wonders what de Villepin’s political aneurism is all about:

«The Elysée got involved on September 20 when president Jacques Chirac appealed to the European Commission to 'do something' about the layoffs; the EC replied, as surely Chirac knew it would, that it has no authority to block HP's plan.

Next, prime minister Dominique de Villepin said that HP France should pay back financial subsides it accepted when it set up business in France, including, for example, a EUR 1.2 million grant from the city of Grenoble.

HP France president Patrick Starck went to Le Figaro to deny that the company had ever accepted a cent from the French government and, by the way, HP has paid EUR 700 million in taxes over the past 10 years. »
What’s it all about, then? Public posturing:
«The latest is that Starck and Hewlett-Packard Europe head Francesco Serafini were called into the office of employment minister Gérard Larcher; Serafini emerged to say that the exact number of cuts was not ''definitive" and "could be reduced". That left de Villepin to opine about "lessons learned" and to propose a "code of good conduct" for companies who accept money from the State, which HP still says it never did.

Lastly, de Villepin differentiated between HP, a profitable American company, and STMicroelectronics, a Franco-Italian high-tech company that also recently announced layoffs because the latter had experienced financial ''difficulties''.

For Chirac and de Villepin, the HP layoffs are what Americans call a two-fer; you get two political paybacks fer the cost of one soapbox. First, they get to be seen to be standing up for workers and protecting French jobs; secondly, they get to make jabs at an American corporate giant.»
As they say, "C'est comme ça" known otherwise as "wahhhhhhhh!"

Monsieur? Will You Sign My Copy of Your Book, S'il Vous Plaît?

"'Pour Laurent', s'il vous plaît. El, aye, you, are, ee, en, tee."

A fan of No Pasarán and of the book La Bannière Étalée asks the author
(and one of your webmasters) to pose for a souvenir photo.

Shouldn't We Be Worrying About Civil War and Looking for the Root Causes of the Violence?

Maybe all that talk about searching for root causes, and all those warnings about civil war, weren't that far-fetched after all — except members of the Left were looking in the wrong direction.

Quoth Robert Tracinski:

Here is another report on the internal collapse of Palestinian society into anarchy and gang rule. Things are very bad in Gaza--and they are about to get worse. As it always does, reality is exacting its revenge: a society that elevated mass murder into an ideal is achieving its own suicide, instead.
The brains behind the The Intellectual Activist was referring to Craig S Smith's NYT article:
In Gaza City on Saturday night, one man was killed during a gun battle between armed militants and the police, while elsewhere in town another armed group threatened to destroy the local offices of the satellite television station Al Arabiya, which is based in Dubai. The men were angry at the station for broadcasting a documentary that suggested that female Palestinian suicide bombers had been put under pressure by male relatives. Farther south that same day, gunmen cordoned off a neighborhood in Khan Yunis, Gaza's second largest city, while members of a well-known drug-smuggling family battled with the Palestinian police…. And in Rafah, along the Egyptian border, armed men from the Abu Taha family stopped cars on Sunday, checking identification papers in hopes of catching members of Al Masri, the rival family with which they have been waging a deadly feud….

"One day, these guys woke up and had nothing to fire rockets at, but they had no food in the kitchen, so they turned on the Palestinian Authority," said Khalid Abu Hilal, known as Abu Adham, a spokesman for 10 branches of Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of the Fatah political faction. "We are heading toward civil war." … Many people here believe that violence will eventually break out between Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigade, and Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, either because Fatah will force the elections to be postponed or because they will not accept the results if the elections are held and they lose.

With wankers citizens like this...

Who needs enemies?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Northern nation deflagration watch

Steven Taylor took a few liberties with the new image makeover of the Canadian Liberal Party (otherwise known in the northern PC codex as “le/the Liberal Party Libérale”.) Oh, what fun! A stagnant, deeply entrenched party of the left trying to talk in circles, and antagonists hoping someday to keep them honest...

What am I thinking. It’ll never happen...

The Welcome Home for an Adventure-Hungry Firebrand

Unlike other freed French hostages, Bernard Planche thanked not only the French authorities for providing him with help, but also the Americans and the Iraqis. (Indeed, he stayed in harm's way for six hours, helping the Ironhorse soldiers who freed him hunt down his kidnappers.)

Being different is hardly looked on well in France (unless it is approved "cute" fringeness, such as the art world's). As we had predicted (and as had some of our readers), the French engineer is now being depicted as an adventure-hungry fringe individual, a firebrand, a desperado. As someone with undisclosable secrets. As someone who is untrustworthy. And those (convenient) bits of information we get from places as different as the press and France's secret service.

T'as entendu la dernière blague belge?

France's most famous Elvis impersonator applies for Belgian citizenship.

Protest Warrior Types Take On Mitterrand Commemoration

Just in case you missed an earlier post:

To honor the tenth anniversary of the death of President François Mitterrand, France has been holding a week-long commmoration, notably at the national headquarters of the Socialist Party in Paris.

A visit to the Rue de Solférino headquarters confirmed that several things seemed to have been left out of the display of 180 photos, the news reels, and the recorded speeches, notably the unpalatable fact that before recasting himself in the heroic figure of a resistance fighter, "Tonton" (as Chirac's predecessor was affectionately called) had worked in the Vichy government during the Second World War, during which time he received the infamous Francisque award from the hands of Maréchal Pétain himself.

So, France's equivalents of the Protest Warriors decided to refresh memories a bit, running forward to tape an oversized Francisque on the multi-story portrait of Mitterrand, before being hauled away by the security guys, followed by the arrival of the police, lights flashing and sirens wailing. La BAF has details in French, plus a video (to the tune of the Vichy-era song "Maréchal, nous voilà").

E-Nough has the story in English. (Spanish readers can read a Spanish-language version.)

There are some strange things regarded as vital to the security of the French state these days

Interested in owning a casino? Or cultivating yogurt? Or making some high-quality sparkling wines?
asks Michael Lynn.
Well, stay out of France. Even if you think it's the best country in which to do business in those fields, forget it. Unless you're French, you're banned.

When you look at the industries that France thinks are vital to its future, it's helpful to remember that surrealism was originally a French movement.

On Dec. 31, the French government published a decree that allows the state to block foreign takeovers in 11 designated industries linked with national security. It will have the power to prevent anyone buying companies in areas such as defense equipment, private corporate security, cryptology and the production of vaccines against bio-terrorism.

And casinos.

Hold on, casinos are vital to the national interest? …

There are some strange things regarded as vital to the security of the French state these days. …

The quest was for a "French solution," [a] newspaper said.

So, champagne is off-limits. And don't even think about trying to buy a yogurt company. …

There are two charges to be leveled at the latest French outburst of hyperactive protectionism.

The first is hypocrisy. The second, and more serious, is that the state has misunderstood how to nurture the industries that are vital to its economic future.

Nobody could dispute that France is guilty of double standards. After all, plenty of French companies have been busily acquiring international competitors.

Last year, France's Pernod Ricard SA completed the takeover of the U.K.'s Allied Domecq Plc, the owner of beverages such as Beefeater gin and Ballantine's whiskey.

Aren't those brands intrinsically British properties?

Indeed, when you pause to look at the holdings that Pernod has built up, it includes Jacob's Creek wines and Wild Turkey bourbon. Both of them are brands that are undeniably Australian and American, respectively. Likewise, how is it that Accor SA operates the Motel 6 chain in the U.S., a trademark that is about as American as Elvis Presley and hamburgers.

French companies have done well establishing themselves in global markets. Shouldn't firms from other countries have the same rights?

The French government has got it wrong. There is something comical about protecting industries such as casinos, champagne and yogurt, no matter how good Chirac's intentions are.

In a world of fast globalizing manufacturing, it is hard to see how a high-cost, regulated economy such as France can prosper, particularly now that euro membership has ruled out the option of devaluing its currency.

In time, French car manufacturers such as Renault SA may be forced to move all of its production out of France. Even the world- beating Airbus SAS may struggle to carry on assembling its planes in Toulouse.

The Reason the French Love Jerry Lewis

A riled Burt Prelutsky gives an interesting perspective on the reason for Jerry Lewis's popularity with the French:
What makes them so insufferable is their constant air of superiority. They keep posturing as if they wrote the book on ethics, values and culture, when all they've really been churning out are cream sauces, red wine and over-priced frocks.

Much has been made of the French fondness for Jerry Lewis movies. What they love about them is that they think his loud, brash, dull-witted simpletons are realistic portrayals of the typical American. We in America like to think guys like Jimmy Stewart and Tom Hanks are us, but the French know better. But, then, they always do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

“All blood-libel, all the time”

I’m sure the self-detonation set calls it

To really believe in human rights is a mission

Also one of the only successful human rights missions ever.

«On Friday morning, May 26, 1991, Israeli Air Force planes were circling in the Addis Ababa sky; 15,000 Ethiopian Jews were circling the Israeli embassy, ready to charge toward the airport; rebel army forces were closing in on the besieged capital - yet the chief Ethiopian official, Kassa Kebede, ordered the Israeli chief negotiator, Uri Lubrani, to stop all actions. The Ethiopian government was demanding its promised price of $35 million in advance, here and now.

What followed was a drama-cum-comedy of errors: Lubrani had no intention of paying up front and, in any case, the Ethiopian minister of finance did not know his own government's bank account number. The operation was almost aborted, and Lubrani, desperately searching for a convincing argument, recalls asking the minister, "Can you conceive that I represent a people and a government that will deceive you on a miserable $35 million?" The minister replied, "I believe you." Permission was granted for the operation to resume.»
It was supported by one of history's great proponents of liberations, and lefty contrarians had nothing to do with it, except to weasel or call it one thing or another to cast doubt.
In any event, "imaging another world is possible" is a phrase usually spouted by people who just don’t think you need to be a Nixon to go to China, and that the greatest negotiators are battle hardened and know how and when to shrink from conflict, and when not to. The tools of that craft completely escape the grasp of the globally roving tranzi love cult that has managed to dominate the west's media and social institutions. The irony is that those institutions themselves are supposed to be the keepers of the precepts of the culture which holds human rights up so high.

On the subject of Operations Moses and Solomon, Natalie Solent points to a BBC history page entry that attempts to diminish the action and make a mess out of the timeline, mixing up names and omitting the date of further rescue operations 6 years later. The good little beeb goes further, as Natalie points out to when they will and won’t mention the nationality, race, or religion of a victim. Clue: when they’re a specially designated victim.

One wonders if media writers are actually aware of any any other view at all.

A French exception among Western democracies

In an article that starts with a couple of paragraphs on France's secret presidential hideaway (the domaine de Souzy-la-Briche), Raphaëlle Bacqué and Ariane Chemin point out that Jacques Chirac has enjoyed the same secrets (i.e., perks) as his predecessor, François Mitterrand: the same secrets concerning his residences, the same secrets concerning the state of his health, the same secrets concerning his family, the same secrets concerning his encounters. And, of course, the same secret costs (such as those of the Elysée) that are unknown to the country's citizens (and taxpayers).
Une exception française parmi les démocraties occidentales.
Update: what is highly ironic is that in Chemin's chat interview, she comes out (in her next-to-last reply) against "total transparency," for "we know what that leads to: totalitarianism." (Honey, you've been reading too much of your own newspaper…)

Germany drops playing tag-along to France's vision of a world divided into rival poles

Merkel is a leader who focused her first major speech on talking about freedom to a Germany historically obsessed with stability as a greater virtue
writes John Vinocur. (Ray, at Davids Medienkritik, has more.) Emphasis mine (notably of the sentence involving France's poodle).
Who believes Europe can never become strong and united in opposition to America.

And who wrote into the coalition agreement linking her Christian Democrats to the Social Democrats (in a government of not terribly like-minded parties) that Germans have to be educated again on the United States as creative force - when the polls show America has come to be regarded here with real mistrust.

Karsten Voigt, the Social Democrat who is a holdover as coordinator for German-American affairs in the Foreign Ministry, has caught the new line: "Her positive America vision will have a real effect on policy. Freedom - it's very important to her. She means it."

This does not include German troops in Iraq. It involves telling Bush, as Merkel indicated over the weekend, that the Guantánamo Bay prison camp mustn't exist "in the longer term."

But it does signify, in relation to the Middle East, what Voigt called an emphasis on establishing new values there - "more human rights, more accountability. It's a gradual process, not an absolute approach."

… [Among the] examples, registered by visitors, of its anything-but-adversarial stance in relation to areas of American concern (no deep-reading or textual exegesis required): …

• A clear refusal to go along with French efforts to lift the EU's embargo on arms sales to China, while maintaining cooperation with France as a vital element of German European policy.

… Fundamentally, this means - my take here - that Germany drops playing tag-along to France's vision of a world divided into rival poles; stops demonizing the United States; and abandons as a serious mistake the France-Russia-Germany axis exemplified in Gerhard Schröder's seduction by Putin, the old KGB recruiter.

It's not overdone to believe these choices involve Merkel's deepest convictions. She is forever a child of the Soviet orbit and four decades of totalitarianism growing up in East Germany. In Merkel's mind, the Reagan years signaled the downfall of the old order and German unification, not marching in protest against America's missile and Star Wars programs.

French Historians Intimidated by Threat of Human Rights (sic) Lawsuits

Besides Jérôme Gautheret's article on the history of the slave trade and his interview of CNRS historian Nelly Schmidt, Le Monde has an article on the Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau affair, in which the historian and author of Les Traites négrières — Essai d'histoire globale (Le Monde Economie du 23 novembre 2004) is being sued by a human rights organisation for being the equivalent of a holocaust denier.

The suit is based on the Taubira law calling slavery a crime against humanity, and that, when his award-winning book (based on Anglo-Saxon-style global history) does nothing more than put Western slavery in perspective to that of the rest of the world (countering commonly-held views such as those that hold that slavery was mainly a Western manifestation, slavery in the Islamic world was of a more benign kind that that in the Americas, or that the crossing of the Sahara was less painful than the crossing the Atlantic). Historians the country over feel intimidated.

The Freed French Hostage Insisted on Staying in Harm's Way for Six Hours to Help American Soldiers Locate His Kidnappers

"M. Planche a insisté pour rester sur les lieux pendant six heures pour tenter de retrouver les ravisseurs", a précisé le commandant [Jim Crawford, de la 10e division de montagne] (Le Monde)
Even though his kidnappers allowed him to listen to the radio and keep a personal journal — how thoughtful of the dears — Bernard Planche is one Western hostage who did not give in to the Stockholm Syndrome, helping in turn the United States army troops who freed him.

(By the way, take a couple of minutes to check out the soldiers' year in photos to the tune of Bob Seger's Like a Rock. This is the type of presentation that your average lucid Frenchman will scoff at. I think it's a safe bet that Bernard Planche is not among those ever-so-wise souls. Update: No wonder Planche has been getting cavalier treatment after his return home.)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Human Rights Watch Leader Proudly Recalls that One of the Events Which Decided His Path Was a Sense of Awe of France's Communist Party

In Le Monde's portrait of the new Human Rights Watch director of its European bureau, Jean-Pierre Stroobants mentions the two decisive events that put a young Reed Brody on the path to become a "hunter of dictators". The first makes sense: it was the discovery of working conditions in Bolivia's Potosi mines. The second makes sense, too, but, alas, in a totally different way. It was the French Communist Party's
Fête de l'Huma during an initial stay in France.

"Civilizations die from suicide, not murder"

«One obstacle to doing that is that, in the typical election campaign in your advanced industrial democracy, the political platforms of at least one party in the United States and pretty much all parties in the rest of the West are largely about what one would call the secondary impulses of society--government health care, government day care (which Canada's thinking of introducing), government paternity leave (which Britain's just introduced). We've prioritized the secondary impulse over the primary ones: national defense, family, faith and, most basic of all, reproductive activity"»
Wrote Mark Steyn in the Opinion Journal. To look at another primary impulse of the seconday-impulse crowd:
«That's what the war's about: our lack of civilizational confidence. As a famous Arnold Toynbee quote puts it: "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder"--as can be seen throughout much of "the Western world" right now. The progressive agenda--lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism--is collectively the real suicide bomb. Take multiculturalism. The great thing about multiculturalism is that it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures--the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It's fundamentally a fraud, and I would argue was subliminally accepted on that basis. Most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don't want to live in anything but an advanced Western society. Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched native dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It's a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.»
That we would permit all of these things to replace our origins isn’t just short sighted, but ineffectual.

Can you mention one single social problem that multi-culturalism has alleviated?

A nation?

Like wot-ever.

Saddam's personal and confidential WMD tapes to be unveiled

From a recent press release sent by The Intelligence Summit:

« A former military intelligence analyst, who currently works as a civilian contractor, believes he has found a cache of extremely confidential--and very shocking--audio recordings of Saddam Hussein's office meetings. The
audiotapes, which had apparently been overlooked, were found in a warehouse along with many other untranslated Iraqi intelligence files. These tapes are
extremely significant, since they may be the best evidence yet of Saddam's secret intentions concerning weapons of mass destruction.

Before 9/11, many intelligence experts were convinced that a very strong and important Iraqi WMD connection existed, only to change their minds when no concrete evidence of that connection could be uncovered in the three years following the beginning of Iraqi war.

Because of the considerable historical importance of this stunning recent development, the contractor who obtained and reviewed these tapes plans to release them to the public on February 17, 2006 at the Intelligence Summit, a non-partisan, non-profit conference open to the public...

After his presentation, a panel of intelligence experts will discuss the ways in which experts may verify the fact that Hussein in fact recorded these audiotapes. These procedures include utilization of voiceprint analysis and other technical means of voice verification.»
Involved in the Intelligence Summit project quite deeply is John Loftus who has a syndicated program on ABC radio (US)called The Loftus Report, and appears regularly on ABC’s excellent John Batchelor Show. (audio link here)

Caution: post not done in a misanthropic tone.

Arrêting sur Images this week: NGOs screwing you (passing on only 30% of the takings to the intended,) celebratory “baptism by fire” of cars, mocking people who are exasperated by people with “trop d’argent” and tsunami-afflicted nations peddled as poor by the press which aren’t, (but the press not mocked nearly enough,) and otherwise also covering the usual tch-tching of low-brow pop-culture exhibiting the usual excitability that dooms the grand republic.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

La France sous Mitterand, c'était 14 ans de mort lente

Qu'est-ce qu'on nous fait chier avec Mitterand. Les média franchouilles politiquement corrects omettent de rappeler à leurs chers compatriotes que Mitterand c'était la Françisque, une amitié avec Bousquet, et une gôche fangeuse qui n'assumait pas sa triste histoire (et qui ne l'assume toujours pas). Heureusement, d'autres sont là pour nous le rappeler.

BBC’s Ranting Point: kick a dying man

Comparing the type of questions that they screened, the guests they had, and the reactions that they chose to publish, it’s easy to see who the BBC is pandering to.

Arafat’s death and illness vs. Sharon’s grave illness.

Complete with solipsistic good wishes for the health of “the most evil man”, casually tossing the phrase "war criminal" around, and one ignorant citation of "Sabra! Shatilla! Sabra! Shatilla!" as more than one caller has put it. Nontheless, some common sense is trickling through. Most of it from callers outside the UK.

Why do I feel like I just wasted an hour of my life trying to live-blog anything Auntie puts out?

Saga Africa

Train violence continues. Ambiance soukous. 13 French youths, out of a group of 20 (French police indicate that the group was type africain) aboard a Paris-Melun suburban train, were arrested for various muggings (2 other youths were held for questioning). Direction à l'hôpital.

Attention le type-là
Il est trop dangereux
Viens ma sœur, fuyons
Attention ma sœur
Attention a cheu


The other two sit tight their housing project and collect welfare

One out of three French are afraid to take the train.

Ché pimps chocolates, we pimp Ché's carrion

One of the most amusing American-Expat blogs that I’ve run across is Observing Hermann. Normally he’s funny, but this one takes the cake, exposing that typically bad German marketing, complete with blasting the gain during the television ad, and ideas as repetitious as they are dimwitted:

«Hermann came running into the kitchen screaming his lungs out but I didn’t make it back to the TV in time. The new Merci commercial is out and it’s the biggest abomination yet, he says. It’s no cheesier than any of the other ones they’ve done in the past, he says, but gulp-gasp-oh-my-God it’s “depicting” the holy image of Che Guevara himself!

This particular commercial features Che as a poster (not a new concept) and he apparently gazes down approvingly at the Merci box during some hippie-esque 60s flashback and then there are one or two other sudden distortions in the space-time continuum and then we end up back in our time period/zone again and somebody gets stuck with the chocolate box after a wedding or something.»
And here I thought under Communism we were all supposed to dispose of our bourgeois pleasures and eat our spinach...

...and do it unhappily, at that.

Crossposted on Marxist Byproducts

Gorille groggy

Le 9-3 de Pantin ne fait pas peur à Bell. France, forever KO.

Hanson to Europe: remember your virtues

Victor David Hanson, using as a writing vehicle a “letter to Europe”, points out the affinities in their world that they should notice:

«In the multiracial society of the United States, an American black, Asian, or Latino finds natural affinity in London and Brussels in a way not true in Lagos, Ho Chi Min City, or Lima. For millions of Americans "Eurocentric" is no slur — for it is an appellation of shared values and ideas not of race.

Even in this debased era of multiculturalism that misleads our youth into thinking no culture can be worse than the West, we all know in our hearts the truth that we live by and the lie that we profess — that the critic of the West would rather have his heart repaired in Berlin than in Guatemala or be a Muslim in Paris rather than a Christian in Riyadh, or a woman or homosexual in Amsterdam than in Iran, or run a newspaper in Stockholm rather than in Havana, or drink the water in Luxembourg rather than in Uganda, or object to his government in Italy rather than in China or North Korea. Radical Muslims damn Europe and praise Allah — but whenever possible from Europe rather than inside Libya, Syria, or Iran.»
The emotional and selective view the European left have of the world outside of the alliance of democracies isn’t just foolish, it’s as unsustainable as their vision of their future:
«If America, the former British commonwealth, India, and China, embraced globalization, while the Arab Middle East rejected it, you sought a third way of insulating yourselves from it — and now are beginning to pay for trying to legislate and control what is well beyond your ability to do either.

Abroad you face even worse challenges. In the post-Cold War you dismantled your armed forces, and chose to enhance entitlements at the expense of military readiness. I fear you counted only on a tried and simple principle: That the United States would continue to subsidize European defense while ignoring your growing secular religion of anti-Americanism.

But in the last 15 years, and especially after 9/11, heaven did not come to earth, that instead became a more dangerous place than ever before. Worse, in the meantime you lost the goodwill of the United States, which you demonized, I think, on the understanding that there would never be real repercussions to your flamboyant venom.

Your courts indict American soldiers, often a few miles from the very military garrisons that alone protect you. Your media and public castigate the country whose fashion, music, entertainment, and popular culture you so slavishly embrace.»
Disintigrating concepts of borders, languages, and culture, and they still belive that such a mess can be a union or even a nation... Unglaublich.

Crossposted on Marxist Byproducts