Transposing the statements, positions, nay, their “stance” on present day events with history can help even the biggest wankers, even the ones who won’t stop spamming me with their improbable 9/11 conspiracy theories “keep it real”.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
I never tire of this.
Transposing the statements, positions, nay, their “stance” on present day events with history can help even the biggest wankers, even the ones who won’t stop spamming me with their improbable 9/11 conspiracy theories “keep it real”.
French Presidential campaign : highly predictable
Pour Le Pen, «Bush est un criminel de guerre»
"Je suis bien obligé de constater qu'il a attaqué un pays sans aucune justification», déclare le président du Front national, depuis Vichy, au lendemain de la publication du rapport du Sénat américain sur la guerre "injustifiée" en Irak. (Avec AFP)
Nicolas Sarkozy does the only sensible thing for a front running French Presidential candidate who wants to remain front-running -- he distances himself from the USA, "I am not in blind admiration of the United States." says Sarko.
And yet the left continue to idolize their parano pet tyrants
Our less refined, less reality and fact based commenters seem still madly in love with the tyrannies that those who experienced or understood the enlightenment saw as toxic to the human spirit as long as two centuries ago:
"If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the reedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute."
Friday, September 08, 2006
Bové falls for the big fat joke of the building business
Fittingly, M Bové insisted on a house that is “100 per cent ecological”. Conifer walls, copper guttering, non-chemical paints, varnishes containing no pollutants and so on.Having done much with green building for more than a decade, the only conclusion that I’ve come to is most everything people want in a green building has more environmental impact than doing it right the first time, and for good.
Almost all the “natural materials” used in construction, he told Le Monde, came from Germany because France lags behind. The lavatories function without using up water and require him to slop out into a”guaranteed smell-free” compost bin. Solar panels are to thank for 40 per cent of his hot water.
Banish the transient organic fluff, and you won’t spent the time, money, and energy rebuilding in 20 years. Come to think of it, sheep-boy might realize that his “survivalist” house built by him and others among these “communitarian” types are little more than a piece of their own cognitive dissonance. Something they might only grasp after they’ve destroyed the arable landscape that they’ve fanned out into.
Crank up the pedal-powered CD player and listen to the Joan Baez geriatric collection, because it’s time to hit the wall of delusions, and make sure we don’t capitalize on any of the efficiencies created by technology, a.k.a.: knowing more than we did yesterday.
It is all very well running a peasant farmers’ group using slow internet connections and having to nip indoors to make and receive calls. But a presidential campaign is a little more demanding, even for fringe candidates. “It takes us hours to send three e-mails,” complains M Bové’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Ricez.Wise move it is, to compost and give back to you and yours your own pathogens. How about a nice cistern of standing water with undigested transients to go with it?
And who else should have shared the couple’s sense of inconvenience but Peter Yarrow. It seems surreal that someone from the 1960s American folk group Peter, Paul and Mary would want much to do, beyond leaving on a jet plane, with new-fangled contraptions.
Hell, while you're at it, why not get rid of a WHOLE MILLENIUM of human progress, and leave mankind’s survival to the fickleness of agriculture and have a short brutish life like they did in the good old days when they REALLY denuded the landscape just to subsist and stay warm!?
D'un côté on leur reproche de jouer aux gendarmes du monde, de l'autre, de ne pas agir avec la responsabilité et la diligence de gendarmes du monde
…on a beau tourner le sujet dans tous les sens, le seul problème du monde, c'est les Etats-Unis. Les USA fournissent des armes à Israël, "déstabilisent" le Moyen-Orient en dérangeant les dictateurs qui y vendaient paisiblement leur pétrole, et parallèlement, restent froids et inactifs devant les "bonnes" catastrophes (comprendre, celles qui n'ont pas d'effet sur le prix de l'essence. Ceci dit sans matérialisme aucun, bien sûr.) Bref, ça ne va jamais. D'un côté on leur reproche de jouer aux gendarmes du monde, de l'autre, de ne pas agir avec la responsabilité et la diligence de gendarmes du monde. Un reportage édifiant sur la tragédie du Darfour expliquait les atermoiements des Etats-Unis sur ce dossier, donc leur responsabilité sur les centaines de milliers de morts de ce génocide. L'opposition de la Chine et de la Russie à l'ONU? Aucun reproche. L'inertie de la France, grande donneuse de leçon devant l'éternel sans avoir l'excuse d'être déjà engagée en Irak? Le reportage n'en parlera pas. Un seul pays est sur la sellette, toujours le même.Stéphane takes on McDonald's, the poor in L.A, the Cuban embargo (not a blocade), and more…
De toutes façons, face au moindre événement géopolitique, chacun trouvera toujours le moyen d'expliquer que les Etats-Unis sortent grands gagnants. N'importe quelle aventure n'est que l'occasion d'étendre l'American Way of Life ou de récolter des dollars. Leur richesse ne peut s'expliquer par autre chose que la malhonnêteté, l'exploitation et le pillage d'autres pays. Les multinationales tentaculaires font la loi dans le tiers-monde, avec la complicité de l'appareil d'Etat américain.
…Jamais il ne viendra à l'esprit que l'Amérique fonctionne parce qu'elle repose sur des règles différentes, et meilleures, et que son succès vient de là. Une telle perception est intolérable pour un socio-démocrate, dressé depuis l'enfance à penser qu'il n'existe pas de meilleure conception de l'Etat et de la société que la sienne.
Si quelqu'un fait mieux en faisant différemment, il y a forcément une arnaque quelque part. A défaut de la trouver, on l'inventera; et au passage, on décriera, critiquera, méprisera de façon hautaine tout ce que l'autre arrive à réussir.
…Plus que jamais, l'antiaméricanisme reste d'actualité en Europe, peu importe les démonstrations contradictoires qui peuvent lui être apportées. La réalité n'a aucune prise sur le phénomène, tout simplement parce qu'il est nécessaire à la survie du système.
George Galloway: Selective Genocide
Via Disturbingly Yellow The gorgeous one:
Well I don’t agree that it’s genocide but I definitely agree that there’s suffering going on there.Tikram einek, ya Girgis! Adulating in his status as Mother Superior of the fever swamp, Galloway read the following hand picked correspondence:
Long live Georgy! I believe the whole world has been brainwashed into following the USA with Israel as its outpost. I can’t believe the genocide of Lebanon has gone without criticism from the so-called free West.the fuse is lit!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Tales from the left-wing treehouse
From a big media FauxBlog entry by George Monbiot which gives an insight into the incredibly sad world of the activist left, comes a brilliant comment:
How funny are all these "peace activist" from the point of view of someone who grew up in the USSR. Demonstrating against the nuclear missiles. The peace movement. How could you not recognise the true enemy? USSR was out there to get you if it could. It failed - but if these women had indeed cerated "something usefull" - they would be learning Russian by now. That, and living in a society that has theretically equal rights but never elevated women to positions of power or authority.
I still recall seeing all these peace protest on the TV in Moscow. Even then I was amazed. The mass peace movement in the USSR (I still recall having to pay some money from time to time for the needs of "peace movement") was against the Western weapons. You could have a million in a demonstration against nukes in the UK. Did they not watch it? Did they not realize that if your enemy wants something that you want - your views might not be objective?
I could understand a 20 year old "protester". But one could hope that by the age of 40 the person would wisen up a bit.
As to you, Macbeth, it never fails to amaze me that there are people who grew up in the Western, democratic society, yet fail to appreciate it's main gift. Pluralism and the ability of a person to be different from the rest without fear of prosecution. What will happen if all of us, who think differently will just "go away"? Won't it be a dull world? Would it be one where new ideas are born? Homogeneity of views would have fit nicely in the USSR.
Just in time to dance on their graves.
Karl Zéro’s web site to be relaunched on September 11th...
just to be “untraditional”.
Upsetting the orthodoxy again
Figaro’s Ivan Rioufol:
« Jacques Chirac a estimé : « Se profile un danger majeur, celui du divorce entre deux mondes, Orient contre Occident, Islam contre Chrétienté, riches contre pauvres ». Mais les musulmans d'Irak ou d'Algérie sont les premières victimes du djihadisme. That’s gotta hurt.
Ce n'est pas l'Islam qui s'oppose à l'Occident, mais un totalitarisme mortifère à des hommes libres. En laissant deviner une responsabilité partagée de l'Occident qui aurait les clefs de la paix, Chirac se montre moins clairvoyant que George Bush quand il déclare, le 10 août : « Notre pays est en guerre contre les fascistes islamistes ». Qu'attend la France, qui a su désigner le Hezbollah comme agresseur d'Israël, pour soutenir cette autre évidence ? La gaffe de Philippe Douste-Blazy, reconnaissant à l'Iran un rôle de « stabilisation dans la région », a révélé l'aveuglement. »
Jacques Chirac’s position is that “the greater danger is the cleft between two worlds, East against West, Islam against Christendom, and rich against poor”, even though it was the Muslims of Iraq or Algeria who were the first victims of the Jihadism.
It’s not the Islam which is opposed to the west, but totalitarianism that terrifies free people. While leaving aside that a shared responsibility shared for the east would be the key to peace, Chirac shows himself to be less insightful than George Bush when he said on August 10th: “Our country is at war against islamist fascists”. What is to become of France which knew to name Hezbollah to be the one that attacked Israel, but not support this other obvious fact? The blunder of Philippe Douste-Blazy, recognizing in Iran a role as a “stabilizing element in the area”, revealed their blindness.
It’s all about people coming together, man
Eastern, not western Europeans aided in the capture and incarceration of 14 hardcore terrorists. Not only does that tell America who her friends are, but that’s what multilateralism is all about.
To the Gaucho-Islamiste left, that’s now, of course, considered bad.
Enjoy les reactions. They can be especially amusing when coming from completely irrelevant people.
And it’s a good thing: Guantanamo now holds top terror suspects
Petain and the Nurenburg defendants had to wait until after World War II was over to face trial. These 14 are bing moved to Gitmo to face it now. It must mean that they’re no longer useful for the purposes of intelligence, and being presented for future trial instead of kept in the can where they definately can’t kill anybody, quite guilty.
It sure put’s old Dick’s witch hunt against Eastern European sovereignty and toffish pacifist arrogance in perspective, doesn’t it?the fuse is lit!
Yes, and they’re mostly needy, greedy, whining Trotskyites
“...Do schools turn out cretins?...”
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The natives are restless
Working hard or hardly working?
So Marcel, who wears the pants in your family?
One for the chocolate soldiers
El gato says: fear the feather.
Have fun storming the castle, boys.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Lefty finds it therapeutic
If this doesn’t make Belgians sleep soundly at night, I don’t know what would:
If it wasn’t a little sad, it would be historic: On Thursday night the buildings housing the OCAM (Office of Threat Analysis Coordination) in the heart of Brussels was burglarized.
In fact VRT (Flemish public radio and television) announced it Friday evening 19H00. The OCAM is an interagency service responsible for the State security, the SGRS (General Intelligence and Security Service, military intelligence), the federal Police force and other agencies. Its role is to synthesize information and analyses transmitted by each service and certain foreign services, and to brief authorities on their estimation of the terrorist threat level.The bearded crazies must be in their happy place.
Thanks to alert reader Hervé whose stomache for stories like that is much stronger than mine.the fuse is lit!
He was too stoned to properly read his Townhouse marching orders
The only blood shed by Zeropeans is when they get their navels pierced
Better living through physics
Finally, science has discovered something that will make clubbing much more pleasant.
Monday, September 04, 2006
The Conditional Republic and the Babylonian Captivists
To the promise of 2005!
Baghdad Despatch # 23
Baghdad — January 10, 2005
Israel, the Conditional Republic
After leaving Lebanon, Ryan and I traveled to Israel. The striking feature of the country is the difference between the secular and the religious and no two cities epitomize that difference more than Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. However, in both cities, we found the Israelis to be extremely friendly and I think they have the most honest taxi cab drivers of any country. Jerusalem of course, has a high population of Orthodox Jewish sects. As for Tel Aviv, I do not remember seeing a single yamaka. Tel Aviv in appearance is very much like a Southern European city complete with good restaurants and nightclubs. The only reminder that one is in Israel is the fact that everyone speaks Hebrew.
As an interesting anecdote, during our visit to the traditional tomb of King David, we overheard an Israeli tourist guide lecturing about Israeli politics. He stated that Israel is a conditional republic and that when the Messiah comes, he will become king and Israel would become a monarchy. I don’t imagine a majority of Israelis hold this view however I thought the perspective on how the apocalypse would affect the government structure of Israel fascinating.
As far as the mission in Iraq goes, most Israelis we talked to seem strangely disinterested in our work. This was a bit of letdown seeing as we just came from Lebanon where people took a keen interest in the matter. In the nightclubs of Beirut, when one mentions that one works in Iraq, it serves as a great conversation starter. Not in Israel.
Jerusalem was clearly one of the highlights of the entire trip. Its ancient beauty and holiness is marred only by the super aggressive street merchants and tour guides. Of course this is nothing new. We were simply the most recent of thousands of years of pilgrims to be set upon by these persistent entrepreneurs.
We hit all the major sites save for the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Unfortunately, these are not very tourist accessible (partly because of the Muslim call to prayer that occurs five times a day). However, we did see the Western Wall (the original wall of the Second Temple built by Herod the Great), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (where many Christians believe Christ was crucified and buried), and the Via Dolorosa (the traditional path along which Christ carried the cross to Golgotha.) As for the Western Wall, the Israelis have dug a tunnel along the old temple wall underneath the Arab Quarter where one can see the various layers of history from the Macabees to the Crusaders. This is a personalized tour complete with guide. They even provide you with a bodyguard at the tunnel exit in the Arab Quarter.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a must for anyone with a Christian background and it is jointly administered by the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Armenian, and Catholic Churches. The Greeks have all the best real estate and the Ethiopian Coptics are relegated to the roof since they had to exchange their real estate for food a couple hundred years ago. The keys of the church are held by a Muslim family since none of the various Christian denominations could decide amongst themselves who should possess the honor. During the Orthodox Easter, a spontaneous flame apparently appears in the Tomb and Syrians and Armenians rush to capture it first. Unfortunately, this almost always results in a physical brawl and stabbings.
On Sunday, we attended a Syrian Orthodox mass conducted in Arabic and Aramaic (the language of Christ) and later took part in a candle-lit procession with the Franciscans through the church. The chanting of Latin echoed throughout the dark halls as we visited the last 4 Stations of the Cross. I will always remember this procession as one of the most beautiful and spiritual experiences of my life.
I must mention of course that there is another Tomb that is revered by Christian Protestants just outside the Old City. I hear that above the entrance of the cave there is a sign that says something to the effect that “He is not here.”
The Chief Sephardic Rabbi
Ryan and I had the good fortune of meeting up with Father Andrew in Jerusalem. Ryan had met Father Andrew in Baghdad. He is an Anglican canon who specializes in backdoor religious diplomacy in the Middle East. Ryan got to know him because he was helping to raise funds for St. George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, a church Father Andrew had been also supporting. In Baghdad, Father Andrew had also been engaged in hostage negotiations and religious diplomacy between prominent clerical leaders in Iraq. In addition, he has also been very active in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process also via backdoor religious channels. He was also the primary mediator when some Palestinians seized the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem a couple years ago. Anyway, he is well connected in the Middle East and knows a wide variety of people from Sunni and Shia clerics in Iraq to Palestinian ministers to prominent Israeli rabbis and politically connected Christian Americans.
Upon reaching Jerusalem, Ryan and I met up with Father Andrew and he invited us to attend a very unique meeting with the Chief Sephardic Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef. To provide some background, Rabbi Yosef is in his 80’s and was born in Baghdad. He is widely seen as a king maker of Israeli politicians. He is the spiritual head of the conservative Shas party. Our meeting was apparently the first time he had agreed to meet with Gentiles in over ten years.
We drove up to his neighborhood in Jerusalem. It looked like any normal modern middle class neighborhood of apartment buildings that you would find in the States. We parked just in front of his building where we met some Sephardic rabbis dressed in the very traditional dark suits and hats common among the Hasidim. Unfortunately, Father Andrew’s young aid, Guinivere, was not allowed to join the meeting since women were not seen as a welcome presence. She was quite upset. Well, we went up without her to the Rabbi’s library apartment. It truly was a library – thousands of books lining all the walls. I think only the kitchen was the exception.
Suddenly, the revered Rabbi entered with his entourage of handlers and the leader of the Shas party, Eli Yishai. The Rabbi looked like an incredibly wise gnome – also with a dark suit and hat in addition to thick sunglasses. We sat after he sat and got down to greetings and formalities. Father Andrew spoke English while another Rabbi translated. He opened first by extending the greetings of Grand Ayatollah Al Sistani, the most powerful Shiite cleric in Iraq! I don’t know if it was true or not – could it have been just some diplomatic ploy? More importantly, Rabbi Yosef accepted the greetings and extended the same to Al Sistani.
Most of the ensuing conversation covered the Ancient Hebrew heritage in Iraq and the Rabbi asked Father Andrew to use his influence to secure many of the Jewish historical pieces still in Iraq for eventual shipment to Israel. Father Andrew promised to do his best. Throughout the conversation, Ryan and I just watched in awe while drinking the Coke served to us. Eventually, the meeting came to a satisfactory close and Rabbi Yosef blessed our party by slapping our faces! Then, Ryan, Father Andrew, and I posed for a picture with the rabbi. I shall remember it always. For the Sephardim, it was the equivalent of visiting the Pope.
Christian Zionists and Charismatics
Father Andrew also took us to dinner with an interesting group of American Christian Zionists and Charismatics. Forgive me a moment to define these terms since I was previously unfamiliar myself. For those truly learned in these matters, forgive me my inaccuracies.
Christian Zionists are Christians who believe that the Holy Land should be the homeland of the Jews. (That is not to say that this necessarily precludes peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians.) This belief is due to scripture and in part it is meant to be a prelude to the Second Coming and the Apocalypse. We had dinner at a Christian Zionist home and what I found most interesting was that there was not one reference to Christianity in the entire place. Rather, their home was entirely decorated with menorahs, shofars, Stars of David, and other assortments of Judaica. I also got the feeling that this group has a great deal of political clout. Apparently, one of them helps to organize the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington at the Cedars. In fact, some of our hosts went to DC to pray and “intercede” for a Bush victory during our Presidential election last fall. Of course, anyone familiar with American politics is also familiar with the discussion of the Jewish Lobby and their effect on US foreign policy and its support for Israel. However, Christian Zionists also should not be left out of the discussion.
As for Charismatics, I am still trying to understand exactly who they are. Therefore, what I now relate may not apply to all of them but definitely applies to some. Charismatics are Christians who relate in some way to various religious revivals in the last three decades. One of them told me the Charismatic movement was started at the University of Notre Dame during a Bishops’ conference in the 70s. Later, there followed religious revivals in Britain, Canada, and most recently, Pensacola, Florida. Charismatics put a very strong emphasis on a direct relationship with God. (Although I think most religions tend to claim this.) In a way, it seems that they have stripped away a great deal of the “intervening” clergy. Charismatics are also known to “speak in tongues”. Upon entering into a discussion with one of them, I asked if this was the universal language of angels and if it can be universally understood by more than us mortals. Actually, it is apparently not universally understood by angels and no mortal can really understand much of any of it and there is not much of any real syntax or established vocabulary. It sounds very strange to the ear almost like baby babbling. I have never heard anything like it.
Back to our dinner with this interesting assortment of people. I will also mention that the home where we dined was also decked out with many patriotic symbols including the American flag. The table cloth was a paper one with a pattern of fireworks – perfect for a 4th of July BBQ! Naturally, we began our meal by saying grace. This was not led by anyone in particular so most people just started saying their own prayers out loud. Some even broke out in tongues. After several minutes of this, we all sang the “National Anthem” followed by “God Bless America”. I had certainly never started off a meal like that before!
Conversation started on the subject of Iraq and Ryan and I told everyone what we do there. This was followed by the Charismatics telling us about their various visions and direct experiences with God – some of this can be initiated by a third person who simply prays for the subject. The subject will often times collapse on the ground and be overcome by the “Power and Glory of God”. Apparently, one woman’s lips were burnt by this power and had blisters for over a week. During the Pensacola Revival, this kind of activity would happen for about 5 hours every night. I asked them if anyone ever got hurt from falling to the ground. Fortunately, they had people stationed around the church to catch anyone who fell.
What is striking about Iraq in particular is that it possesses tremendous religious importance for not only Muslims but also for Jews and Christians. Sites relating to Abraham through to the Babylonian Captivity are important to all three religions. In fact, Ezekiel’s tomb is located outside of Najaf in southern Iraq. (Ezekiel lived during the Babylonian Captivity after the Jews were conquered by the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar, in the 6th century BCE.) The tomb is located inside a 6th century AD synagogue and Ezekiel Chapter 43 is written in Hebrew along the top of the walls. The Shia of the area revere this place as being extremely holy. Given its tremendous relevance to Christians, Muslims, and Jews, I’m thinking it would be a strong candidate for World Heritage Site status.
Some of the Charismatic Christians we met in Israel hold a very interesting belief relating to the Babylonian Captivity. Simply put, some people believe that the “Power and Glory of God” traveled with the Jews to Babylon after their conquest by Nebuchadnezzar and that it did not return to Jerusalem with them after their liberation by the Persian Emperor, Cyrus, but stayed in Babylon and is still in Iraq to this day. It is also believed that the “Power and Glory” will be revealed when Babylon has fallen. Some believe that the toppling of Saddam Hussein represents this second fall of Babylon. I am not sure what is supposed to happen next but I am trying to understand how the return of the “Power and Glory” relates to stability and democracy in Iraq. For lack of a better term, I have decided to refer to these believers as “Captivists” in reference to the Babylonian Captivity. I am not proposing that US policy is driven by this train of thought but I do think that it is a factor and has the potential to spark even more interest among devout Christians in the US in the future. Where these religious energies are channeled to provide funding for the restoration of spiritually important sites and to help foster greater understanding between Muslims, Christians, and Jews, the upside is potentially very large. After all, we are all the children of Abraham of Iraq.
After Note - Israel is must on any traveler’s itinerary in the Middle East. I have included the picture with Rabbi Yosef and an Iraqi painting of said picture commissioned by Ryan as a gift for Father Andrew. It is highly representative of Iraqi Surrealist-Realist art as I call it. I should have commissioned some paintings myself.
Share the Goods, Comrade
(Thanks to Pat Patterson for Mickey Mao(se))
Socialist Family Values
The Dad: ...and there was this boy in my first year in the dorm...
The Dad: When I was young, I wanted to be a girl. I wore girls’ clothes.
Son of nebulous sexual orientation: I wanted to be a boy. I wore boys’ clothes!
Do you remember?
Good night, and thank you for trying to not breed.
Deconstructing France's Philosophers
In La philosophie cannibale (La théorie du mensonge, de la mutilation, ou l'appropriation totalitaire chez Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Lyotard), Lucien Oulahbib breaks more than a few taboos by taking on France's most revered people — les philosophes — reminding us of such savorous things as the fact that Michel Foucault supported the Ayatollah Khomeiny or that Jacques Derrida, in his infinite wisdom, realized that the culprits behind 9-11 were none other than… the Americans.
Being the "masters of suspicion" that they are, the "philosophers" (sic) wanting to deconstruct everything have nothing less than a cannibalistic view of the world.
Americans and Vacation: expatriated writer all worked up
Mark Ames WOULD speak with authority, but he hasn’t lived in the US for 12 years. Given that the subject doesn't have any actual impact on Guardian readers (virtually none of whom live in the United States,) one can only asume that it has the same purpose as most of the paper's content - to take a hack at something which they've convinced themselves is productive without leftism, positive without the approval of their "class", wrong to them, distasteful to them, or simply American.
And Ames misses the point when he complains about Americans not taking their time off which he otherwise paints as inadequate and bad for people as though they're incapable of thinking for themselves.
Virtually all American workers can take all the vacation they like. They’ll only get paid for 2 or three weeks of it. The ilk of Mark, apparently, feel that we all need laws and some guidance to lead our lives. Most of his countrymen, a nation of 300 million that he has lost touch with, seem to disagree. If this was an issue that mattered to Americans, it would have been raised decades ago. I wonder how he would explain that away - probably by calling us all sheep and zombies, regardless of the near even political divide that has maintained debate and discussion in America for the past centuries.
Back to our intrepid correspondent who while groping for a point came upon some satisfying class-struggle victim narrative padding that seems to satisfy the limits of what the garden variety Guardian reader can grasp:
As middle America's workers continue to see their leisure time stripped away from them, guess where that time, that scarce resource, winds up? You can find the answer in a Forbes magazine article, Billionaires On Vacation, dated September 19 2002:Speaking to the point anyway, even though he may have never held down a conventional and real job, his problem is that he expects from society the benefit of something he isn’t generous about being willing to provide or understand. Aggregate the cost of 2 weeks of vacation into an annual salary, and then 4 weeks. It all comes from the same place, anyway.
"From the ski slopes of Aspen and Gstaad to the beaches of Mustique and the Hamptons, instead of staying at a resort many billionaires (and millionaires) prefer to own multiple homes around the world - partly because it's always nicer to sleep in your own bed and partly because, well, they can."
All of this might be infuriating, in a kind of white-collar, Wigan Pier sort of way, if it weren't for the fact that the designated victims in this drama - America's workers - are such willing collaborators in their own existential demise. According to a New York Times article, British workers get more than 50% more paid holiday per year than Americans, while the French and Italians get almost twice what the Americans get. The average American's response is neither admiration nor envy, but rather a kind of sick pride in their own wretchedness, combined with righteous contempt for their European worker counterparts, whom most Americans see as morally degenerate precisely because they have more leisure time, more job security, health benefits and other advantages.
Even a self-admiring liberal arts major and fake "exile" can figure out that this will cost 6 percent more of one’s annual pay.
This is where it gets unintelligible:
It's like a classic case of East Bloc lumpen-spite: middle Americans would rather see the European system collapse than become beneficiaries themselves. If there is one favourite recurring propaganda fable Americans love to read about Europeans, it's the one about how Europe is decaying and its social system is on the verge of imploding; we Americans pray for that day to come, with even more fervour than we pray for the End of Days, because the very existence of these pampered workers makes us look like the suckers and slaves we really are. This is why you won't see Bono or Sir Bob Geldof rallying the bleeding-hearts anytime soon on behalf of America's workers. They're not in the least bit sympathetic. Better to stick with well-behaved victims like starving Africans.I’m not sure just who it is that carrying the spite around, but I know that Americans are more likely to work harder once they start having kids, and not being a branch of western civilization actively trying to exterminate itself.
The comparative GDP figures, the rates of unemployment, and especially the optimism shows that American workers are clearly more economically literate when it comes to when it’s the right time to “shut down the bosses” and all the rest of the fantasist trash European leftists repeat to themselves while rocking in the fetal position in a cold, damp corner of what was a sustainable society.
Kudos to the Guardian nonetheless – for getting writers to do commercial puff pieces on behalf of long unseen celebs selling stuff with all the dignity of an infomercial. It has the appearance of the most unethical sort of unbridled commercialism without actually having an understanding of it’s Amorality, and it’s utility to reduce poverty, as well as its’ secondary utility to fund the doing of sincere good initiated by individuals, and not the betters of government from whom Ames imagines he can get something ‘free’ from.
Lamenting the future
It can be tiring to think about.
"It is not that there is a crisis, that is not the case, the European Union is rather suffering from a sort of illness of apathy, from general fatigue."[French Europe Minister Catherine Colonna] went on to say that this does "not augur well for its future capacity to respond to the needs of its people."
"Nobody can understand why the Europeans are unable to help one another in an organised fashion in fighting forest fires or in coordinating the evacuations of their nationals from Lebanon," she pointed out.The kindest way to put it is that they’re being pecked to death by countless little rules, initiatives, and PC social engineering efforts. The unkind thing to say is that people bring that crap on themselves.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
But they’re superior continental nut-roots
I bet you thought ALL malbouffe of any sort was by nature American. From the Wiki wasteland explication of a chain started in Belgium (and has since expanded) called Quick crediting its’ success to “high quality products and anti-Americanism”. The company probably DID write the Wikipaedia entry, since only a very strange person would go to such lengths for a fast food chain.
What I wonder is why they exist at all. Last year 404 stores only created €27.3 million of net income for the franchisee. In any functioning economy this would be called sucking wind. That, notwithstanding makes them, judging by the way McDonald’s stores are targeted for igneous youthful invective, vulnerable. The trashings are after all – all about general malbouffiness and esclavage wages, aren’t they? Well, aren’t they?
Bollocks – in this respect western Europe is no different than a bad neighborhood in Karachi. “Revolutionaries” with small minds and a cartoonish world view want to trash something American-seeming thinking that they’re ending capitalism as they know it, even though they’re actually destroying the property of a countryman who invested in the franchise, and put some guy name Gilles out of a job. These kids are Mensa material, I tell ‘ya.
Madonna sells out Bercy
Where’s Hugo Chavez when you need him?
The last favella inside Paris’ city limits is being cleared out. The word isn’t out yet on roughly 25 more in the socialist glory of the suburbs of the city of lights.
Next time, instead of trying to call these things “world heritage sites” or some other socialistic euro-silliness for decades on end, why not try the healing power of capitalism?
Blood libel all the rage
Un bloggeur franchouille, depuis peu recyclé dans les conseils diététiques pour bobos pédaloïdes, a posté un texte qui mettait clairement les points sur les 'i' en ce qui concerne l'Etat d'Israël et le versement du sang arabe. Une fois sa crise hormonale passée et l'hystérie retombée, il a gommé le poste en question -- une pratique assez courante chez lui -- avant de mettre le cap sur d'autres considérations bassement pédérastes.
Cette opacité inscrit la Shoah dans l'Histoire comme un crime incomparable. Et Jonathan Littell ne se livre, de fait, à aucune comparaison. La question du bourreau, pourtant, il estime qu'elle se pose avec acuité aux hommes de toutes les générations, jusqu'en ce XXIe siècle commençant : il y eut le Vietnam, les guerres de décolonisation, il y a désormais Guantánamo et l'Irak. Alors, pose-t-il, « aujourd'hui, les bourreaux, c'est un peu nous ». Au moment où l'individu se doit de choisir entre le bien et le mal, qu'est-ce qui fait pencher la balance ? L'abîme est sans fond.
Merci à Bertrand.