He's like, the anti-Bob, or something. His wishful thinking is
Crossposted on Marxist Byproducts
Superstition and ignorance reigned during the Middle Ages, a time when characters we now consider to be simply from fairy tales; pixies, trolls, hobgoblins and so on, were thought to truly exist. Health was controlled by the stars, and affliction was a sign of impurity of the soul-a curse from God.Basically what far-left environmentalists want for all of us were the same things that made life nasty, brutish, and short in human history’s past. A society with any prospects for the future would be wise to simply ignore them.
Under capitalism, Marx argues, work no longer fulfills its vital role in the lives of the people. The division of labor under capitalism "attacks the individual at the very roots of his life". It converts the worker into "a crippled monstrosity" by developing his manual dexterity in a narrow detail "at the expense of a world of productive capabilities and instincts”.The irony is that the student doesn’t seem to know that the author of the text citing Marx thinks that Marx is an idiot who caused immeasurable harm to the poor.
Do you remember Murray the K,Those among you unable to tolerate the real deal may enjoy entertaining strangers around you in a café with some pathetically bad and irritating Arabic ringtones to suit the palor of this age.
Alan Freed, and high energy?
It's the end, the end of the 70's.
It's the end, the end of the century
In a pitiful attempt to simulate one of those old-time peace demonstrations when a few people actually seemed to care, roughly 10,000 obnoxious native peaceniks spent part of their Easter weekend symbolically occupying a symbolic bombing range that may one day be used by the Bundeswehr and other NATO forces to drop symbolic bombs upon.More amusing still is that these protestor’s heyday predates the invention of crack. In fact the little darlings made a nicely shaped target for a passing NATO aircraft's "simulation" reticule. One can't say much for their kerning, but they aren't so Spicolli'ed out that they can't spell.
Three other cities also lost out to London for the 2012 Olympics, of course, but that is irrelevant, n'est-ce pas? And, needless to say, when a panel votes against Washington (such as at the UN), thanks to Paris, this is only due to France's (and the voting countries') unmitigated desire for peace as well as a reflection of their lucidity, their clairvoyance, and their rationality.
As it happens, you need to read a book review of a book by the same Olympian insider who penned the "confidential" report (on the same Le Monde page as the main article) to learn about the key developments that were left out of the book by Armand de Rendinger (or that he passes over without making a big fuss, which is also known as token pieces of information), the least of which isn't the fact that it is Rendinger himself who stands accused, to some, of being responsible for Paris's defeat.
…environmentalists have revealed that their real attitude toward renewable energy is no less hostile than their attitude toward all other forms of man-made power. After the installation of hundreds of "alternative" energy plants in the state [of California] — in the nation's most ambitious program to build environmentally correct power plants — the greens have begun to reject one renewable power technology after another.After global warming, the environmentalists are starting to come out against the wind industry! Read Jack Wakeland's take on the whole renewable energy movement.
The extent to which a renewable energy technology has proved its usefulness is the exact extent to which environmentalists now oppose it. The extent to which a technology has proved unproductive is the exact extent to which environmentalists continue to embrace it.
…Environmentalists ultimately object to the amount of power produced, regardless of how it is produced. The instant that any technology promises to supply power on an industrial scale, it becomes an unpardonable evil that must be stamped out by force-either by government policy or by direct action.
Police foiled a potential railway bombing (Paris-Nantes) which seems to have no purpose other than possibly usury, reports the Telegraph. No videos with a flag in the background or statements yet. It makes sense that this would happen in a continent where it’s perfectly normal to never admit responsibility, and blackmailing everyone else in society is the national pastime. One that can never end.
Time. Life lessons. Speaking to them verrrrry slowly. Failure. Lefty never seems to get it.
Either that or it runs a close second to the fine art of talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. Please to observe - a few headlines:
France, Egypt call on leaders to continue aid to PalestiniansIt sounds like there’s a theory somewhere in there.
France's Chirac to press Egypt to lean on Hamas
Iran with nuclear weapons unacceptable--France
Egypt, France Say Military Strike on Iran Should Be Avoided
"Toutes les options sont sur la table", a déclaré M. Bush, interrogé sur la possibilité d'un recours à la force contre l'Iran. "Nous voulons résoudre ce problème par la diplomatie et nous travaillons dur pour cela", a-t-il toutefois ajouté.[ … ]
The "Mexicans only work to make the rich richer" and "minimum wage is evil" arguments are total bullshit. I would kindly ask anyone who wants to defend that argument to present their extensive evidence and experience with this bizarre point of view.Putting things in their proper perspective, Jonathan has a message for "jacques bélanger and Antoine and everyone else":
My best friend is an immigration lawyer in Chicago and is constantly recounting stories of his experiences with the Mexicans and other Latinos that are his clients. His clients are not only extremely hard workers, they understand the political and economic realties of their situation. They band together in groups of families (from the same town in their home country). They work as many jobs as they can and pool their money to help (legally) bring more family and friends into the country. When they're ready to strike out on their own, they start a landscaping business, or a catering service, or open a diner, or buy a convenience store or a gas station, you name it. Anything to be in control of their own destiny.
They realize that their only way up in America is to stick together and grab economic and political power the old-fashioned way -- by creating value for other people, by starting successful companies and not expecting any handouts from Uncle Sam. The INS teaches them very quickly that the government is not their friend -- the INS can deport people that have already achieved permanent resident status, how nice.
Look -- everyone works for someone else until you're self employed. Statements about "the bosses" are such a joke in America, because it's so easy to become your own boss.
What is the rate of startup creation in France? What does it take to get a new company off the ground in France? Any French entrepreneurs care to tell their story of starting a successful small company, because truly I am curious. Who wants to take the risks of creating jobs when the government takes 60+% of your income and puts hundreds of red-tape roadblocks in your way? Who wants to hire employees when you can never fire them? And do you think starting a company is even remotely possible for any of your North African immigrants? Where are their success stories? It goes on and on...
From a prominent member of the Committee of Public Safety we find the ‘same shit, different generation’ paroxysm at work. It most always involves
deranged Elves Euros discussing what they think should be other people's options, and talking in circles until freedom and terror start to sound like the same thing.
« La terreur n'est autre chose que la justice prompte, sévère, inflexible; elle est donc une émanation de la vertu ; elle est moins un principe particulier, qu’une conséquence du principe général de la démocratie, appliqué aux plus pressants besoins de la patrie. »- Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre
"Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs."
"Que serais-je aujourd'hui sans cet accident ? Probablement un petit ouvrier au fond du Poitou qui n'aurait pas vécu tout ce qu'il a vécu. Tous les moments forts et rares que j'ai connus depuis, c'est "grâce" à mon handicap, et non "à cause" de lui", explique [l'homme en kit Philippe Croizon], dans sa maison d'Ingrandes-sur-Vienne, un village situé à côté de Châtellerault.…
Philippe Croizon restera deux ans à Valenton. Le temps de se doter d'abdominaux en béton, de s'initier au maniement des prothèses et de réapprendre à "marcher"... Sa volonté et son humeur constante sidèrent le personnel du centre. "Quand quelqu'un se retrouve amputé, deux solutions se présentent à lui, indique Françoise Boite. Soit il n'accepte pas son sort et sombre dans une problématique d'ordre psychologique ; soit il décide de prouver aux autres qu'il peut s'en sortir et se lance défi sur défi. Philippe est dans ce cas. Il fait partie de ces gens à fort tempérament que le handicap va revaloriser. Chez nous, il boostait tout le monde."
L'ergothérapeute n'a pas oublié ces scènes incroyables où l'homme-tronc remontait le moral à des amputés privés d'un seul membre. "A la fin, tous me disaient : "On n'a pas le droit de se plaindre, comparé à toi", se souvient Philippe Croizon. C'est une réflexion que j'entends tous les jours. Cela m'horripile. Tout le monde a le droit de se plaindre et d'avoir mal. A chacun son degré de douleur et de peine, non ?"
…Dans leur malheur, Gérard et Monique Croizon ont quand même la chance d'avoir un fils doté d'un moral inoxydable. Un vrai miraculé de la vie. Toujours déconneur en public, toujours le premier à ouvrir le bal des dîners dansants organisés pour financer ses appareillages, toujours là pour abreuver ses interlocuteurs d'expressions du type "les bras m'en tombent" ou "ça me scie les jambes...".
Everything, they say, is relative. Half a million French youths on the barricades of their privileged entitlements, united in an unembarrassed, indeed self-righteous, defense of economic stagnation, have given me much needed perspective. … French protestors carried a huge banner: "We Will Never Surrender" (in English, especially for CNN). Bracket the fact that surrender has been France's national outdoor sport for two centuries. What are they refusing to surrender to — apart from common sense, I mean?Thus speaketh John V. Fleming, Princeton's Louis W. Fairchild '24 professor of English.
I couldn't have spent four decades as a humanities professor without gaining fluency in the sclerotic cliches of a soft left rhetoric. But it appears that in France, the mainstream political spectrum actually believes it. The place is positively crawling with time-warped Socialists who still quaintly believe in Marxism.
Though its ostensible motives had to do with employment, the Paris demonstrations were more closely affiliated in spirit to what we recently witnessed in Damascus and Karachi than what we saw in Los Angeles. Theodore Dalrymple has argued in his remarkable essays that Islamic truculence, including that of some highly visible European Muslim youth, is born not of strength and confidence but of fearful disquiet and perceived inferiority, weakness and vulnerability. In general, similar anxieties command the French "Youth Employment" protests.
What we laughingly call the "real world" can be a scary place. But … I have a few words of advice for graduates.… Do something serious, useful, daring and fun. Travel around, and use the foreign language we helped you learn. Invent something. Start a company. Teach something wholesome to somebody who needs it. Revel in your individuality and personal enterprise in a way that satisfies you by helping our needy world. Take some big risks, and fail a few times. Let your attitude be closer to that of an immigrant Mexican yard-worker than of a French bureaucrat. This country doesn't owe you a living, but it affords you unequalled opportunities to make a decent one. Work really hard. Create the wealth of the commonwealth.
Which brings us to French television in the spring of 2006: John Rosenthal of the Transatlantic Intelligencer takes on what he calls the "creeping historical revisionism that is part and parcel of the wave of anti-Americanism that has swept across Europe over the last five years." Read his description of the France 3 documentary (sic), La Face cachée des libérateurs.
[After hearing the customary] swing music in the background, and [seeing the customary] stock footage of the liberation -- the joyous celebrations of GIs and French civilians intermingled -- … the upbeat swing giving way to an ominous, funereal march. "These images speak the truth," the voice-over allows, "but not the whole truth." In what follows, "The Dark Side of the Liberators" does its part to dampen the grateful "fervor long inscribed in the collective memory" -- or even to transform it into hate.I am sad to say, this is nothing new. When interacting with Frenchmen, you will often hear "No, no, of course we are grateful to the Americans of World War II." Then, depending on whether you seem ready for the "truth", they will innocuously add, more or less sotto voce, a but: "But of course, they did it [participated in World War II] for their own interests." Which is their privilege to say, of course (as free men and women liberated by the Allied armies).
The narration talks of "atrocities committed": a formula that would usually imply that the acts in question were sanctioned by the military hierarchy and hence not a matter of simple crimes. A French historian interviewed for the film describes the American troops stationed in Cherbourg tenderly as "a veritable army of termites": "People are fed up. After a while, the French civilians can no longer accept that the Americans act like they're in a conquered land." German women are said to be subject to a "paroxysm of violence" even "exceeding that inflicted on the English and French."
The individual cases discussed are apparently true. They are, after all, based on US court martial records from the time -- a fact that reveals that these are not, after all, a matter of "atrocities" in the usual sense of the term, but rather of crimes that were immediately recognized and prosecuted as such by US military authorities.
Except for two things:
First, it takes a communal view of the matters, one that ignores the individual's thoughts, opinions, desires, dreams, plans, projects, contributions, sacrifices, and sufferings. Apparently, all Americans, as one, made a collective decisison to gain monetary interest in Europe and Asia, sacrificing 400,000 lives in the process. (Question: did the 400,000 dead agree with the decision to fight for Coca-Cola; did their widows, their orphans, their parents, their neighbors, their countrymen?) That makes the description sound ridiculous, right? The only option, then, is to suggest that the American powers that be (those treacherous political and financial of theirs' that we are so familiar with) fooled the American people into going to war for their unspoken interests. (And never mind that any individual of the slightest measure of common sense, whether a soldier getting ready to embark to put his life at risk or the (voting) family member of same, would weigh the pros and cons (and any hint of hidden interests) of so doing — remember, the individual doesn't count in this convenient scenario.)
Which, when you think about it, is exactly how the French think the Iraq war is being conducted. (If you want to know why Europe lags behind America in so many ways, it is because the collective viewpoint is so predominant there, whereas in America it is generally recognized that every individual is first and foremost exactly that: an individual. I have earlier written about how the First World War also illustrates this collective mindset.)
As John writes in the Legend of the Squandered Sympathy,
the very expression “the Americans” has long been used in [France] as a metonym to speak, for instance, of the American government or American corporations, thus suggesting, given the normally accusatory context, a sort of collective national guilt.The second problem with this collective way of describing the Americans (and suggesting their collective national guilt — notice how, in the opening of her Libération article, Sophie Rostain seems to state unequivocally —and with a sneer of disdain — that all "the handsome GIs who landed in France in 1944 behaved like barbarians") is the double standards involved. Indeed, the French apply the metonym to noone else. Not to the Russians. Not to the Japanese. Not to the Germans (!!). Certainly not to themselves. In fact, often you will hear a Frenchman whine, "How come the Americans didn't join the war earlier, to help us?" Well, if the French were participating in the war for their own interest, why should anybody come to help them?! But of course, that's not the case. How could you even imagine that?! Because with everybody else but the Americans, war becomes nothing but a fathomless tragedy. So, actually, what I have said about the collectivist viewpoint being only applied to the Americans is not entirely true; the difference is that for the Yanks, the collective description is applied with a negative emphasis (treachery, greed, villainy, barbarity, hypocrisy, stupidity, naïveté) whereas for everybody else, it is used in positive terms, or with a heroic aura attached to it. (Think of the innumerable times when you have been reminded of how much the Soviet Union (or the Soviet people) sacrificed during, and for, the war — an opinion with which, again, there should be little controversy except for the fact that double standards are being applied.)
In fact, go back to John Rosenthal's article, and go to the three final paragraphs. What is interesting in the "story made of blood, sperm, and tears" is whom the documentary does not incriminate for World War II-era rapes and crimes (except as part of "an alibi-making flourish with which the film concludes"): The German Army. The Japanese Army. The Red Army. The French Army. (JC Durbant has many more details.)
With rapes and crimes in the wake of every army, asks John,
Why not, then, a film on the phenomenon in general? The narrator also mentions that "the German army" was guilty of "mass rapes" throughout Europe. Curiously, however, unlike for the three Allied nations, no specific numerical estimate or range is given -- as if the inclusion of the crimes of Nazi Germany was an afterthought or a matter of obligation. The very gesture of inserting the Nazi crimes -- and relatively inconspicuously to boot -- among the others, only serves to underscore the revisionist implications of the entire exercise. Were the liberators, then, no better than the conquerors? Maybe worse?Finally, a question for those of you who think today's hostility to Uncle Sam is not anti-Americanism but only temporary opposition to Bush and the neocons: again, do you notice any familiarity with the war in Iraq?
a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities … My feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance. … How can one expect a State like that to hold together — a country where everything is built on the dollar.I wonder whether you would tend to agree with the European leader who evoked America’s “historically unique and shameless ill treatment of truth and of right”, adding that America's “so-called” president was “guilty of a series of the worst crimes against international law” and pointing out that
first, he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy, and slowly but surely leads mankind to war, not without calling God to witness the honesty of his attack …Hmmm… Makes one wonder who uttered those immortal words…
A threatening opposition was gathering over the head of this man. He guessed that the only salvation or him lay in diverting public attention from home to foreign policy … Thus began the increasing efforts of the American President to create conflict … For years this man harboured one desire — that a conflict should break out somewhere in the world.
From The Austrailian:
CONTINENTAL Europe is at a crossroads. No, scratch that. Continental Europe was at a crossroads a few years ago. This week, it appears to have chosen its path. Taken together, the results of Italy's general election (which turfed out an economic reformer in favour of a former EU president) and the French Government's cave-in to rioters protesting against employment law reform suggest that the strongest forces in Europe today are those of appeasement, stasis and socialism. In Italy, voters were faced with a choice between media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, who was swept into office five years ago promising to cure the country's economic troubles, and the centre-left Romano Prodi, whose campaign was tinged with anti-Americanism.But wait. It gets worse:
None of this is good news for Europe. At a bare minimum, the past week's events suggest that this is a part of the world where no one is capable of facing reality. It also suggests a broader lack of cultural confidence. Europeans are not having children at replacement rates any more; birth rates are supported largely by Muslim immigrants. And that community's more radical members are increasingly flexing their political muscle in the face of a timorous host culture. An example is the fallout of the Danish cartoon controversy. In what was essentially a battle between theocratic and Enlightenment values, the theocrats largely won.
In the meantime, the case for war on Iran grows.
…it is curious to see Lévy the anthropologist morph into Lévy the missionary when, at Willow Creek, he stops accusing these Christian fellow travelers of over-adapting to the modern world and starts accusing them of under-adapting to itnotes Martha Bayles (thanks to Ashbrook).
Damned if we do, damned if we don't. Our religious wine is either too diluted or not diluted enough. Our war paint and feathers are either too authentic or not authentic enough.
"…some people just fly off the handle without even talking to me — it's as if they had been waiting to run into an American all day to let their feelings out," [sighs Christian Cox].Only a couple of days after my post on European racism (the worst of which is that directed against Americans), the BBC reports on American expatriates in London reflecting on how anti-Americanism "feels like racism" (cheers to Chakman).
To avoid confrontations she says she lowers her voice on the Underground and in pubs. [Either "Christian" is a typo and her name is actually Christina or her parents decided to give Ms Cox an original first name.]The BBC report goes on to quote Americans who apologize or who pretend to be Canadian, including quite a number in the comments section (for instance this lady who proudly states that 'I usually defuse the situation by saying "Yes, I'm an American — and I'd like to apologise"'). To which I wrote the following comment (minus the hyperlinks, of course), based on the recent post in question as well as on my December letter in the IHT (so far, the comment seems to have been ignored):
But in one incident an older man asked her directly if she was American.
"When I said yes he said: 'I just want you to know that I think you are the poorest people I have ever met in my life' — meaning we were low-life.
"I said I was sorry he felt that way, but that I disagreed."
The man started shouting obscenities at her group. The row developed into a brawl and Ms Cox suffered a black eye as she tried to pull two people apart.
No American citizen should stoop to apologize for being American, nor should they even think of apologizing for the current administration (no matter what he or she thinks of Bush) — doing so is nothing short of despicable, especially when the Yankee-haters are guilty of the ugliest of double standards.An alternative answer Ms Cox might have given to the older man (the one who snorted that 'I just want you to know that I think you are the poorest people I have ever met in my life'), as per AA's (fascetious) guidelines:
As the eminent British historian Paul Johnson has said, "The truth is, any accusation that comes to hand is used without scruple by the Old World intelligentsia. Anti-Americanism is factually absurd, contradictory, racist, crude, childish, self-defeating and, at bottom, nonsensical."
Various commenters claim that anti-Americanism is at best non-existent and at worst exaggerrated, referring to the tired old canard that "it is only America's leaders (or policies) they are against". Really? Is that so?
As the creator of the Americans Anonymous association [which I invite Ms Cox and Francesca Terry to join, by the way] and the author of a book on the subject, I would like to be told, how often have the Europeans commented on the disdain they have for, say, the leaders and/or administrations of Russia, China, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran, and (Saddam's) Iraq, and that with the same vehemence they reserve for Uncle Sam? (And how often have Europeans subjected Chinese, Cuban, or Zimbabwean expatriates to the same level of scorn -- or even to statements of disagreement -- for the actions of their truly despotic governments, and how many Iraqi travelers did they take on during the reign of the mass killer Saddam Hussein?)
How often have the Europeans held mass demonstrations against the fighting in Chechnya, the conflict between Ethiopie and Eritrea, and the Iran-Iraq war?
How often have they held vigils against the death penalty in China, in Saudi Arabia, in Sudan, or in Japan (yes, even another democracy) and when did they ever express "concern" over how prisoners in those countries were treated?
Those Frenchmen who stated proudly "Chirac had the balls to stand up to Bush", how did they react when their president said that France would not mention human rights during a visit to the Kremlin because it was necessary "to show consideration for Russian sensibilities"?
How did those humanists react when Paris lit the Eiffel Tower in red for the visit of the Chinese president, when the government banned Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian from attending the Paris Book Fair, or when Chirac, along with fellow peace-lover Gerhard Schröder, tried to resume selling weapons to the saber-rattlers of Beijing?
There was not much of a reaction, was there?
The truth is, the Europeans didn't (and don't) care. They didn't care one way or the other for one simple reason: they were issues in which Uncle Sam was not involved.
Anti-Americanism is quite alive: it is the practice, on a regular basis, of double standards. Nothing more. And nothing less.
"No wonder you think that. That's because we Americans are not as wise as you are. That's because we Americans are not as generous as you are. That's because we are not as peace-loving as you are. That's because we are not as respectful as you are. That's because we are not as tolerant, as visionary, as clear-headed as you are. And of course, if only we rose to the heights of your obvious and incontestable superiority, then naturally, an era of encompassing and lasting peace would ensue on the entire planet."(Then again, that might have earned Ms Cox two black eyes!)