Saturday, July 21, 2007
'It starts off by being stripped naked in front of 10 police officers including two women, gratutious humiliation is used to break you down.' '... worst jail that you can possibly imagine.' 'Not even a hole to go to the bathroom. You have to piss against a wall and you sleep in piss on the concrete floor.' The torture victim demands 'the immediate shutdown of this secret underground prison'. It's not at Abu Ghraib, it's in Marseille, France.
Friday, July 20, 2007
They should stick to their colonic cleansing parties and various useless “race for the cure” displays of moral vanity. Hey, they’re just trying desperately to “keep it real.”
When Gareth Groves brought home his new Hummer SUV, he knew his eco-friendly neighbors disapproved. But he didn't expect this. His Hummer only lasted five days.Alas, the “greening” of Washington DC by resident’s of one its’ elitist, wealthy, blueblood neighborhoods: a hummer owned by a hockey shirt wearing kind of dude is vandalized in a neighborhood populated by people who are just now after ten years barely questioning the sanity of their “eco-tourism”.
On Monday, two masked men were seen taking a bat to every window, knifing each tire and scratching a message into the body - "For The Environ."
He says some people who have driven by and seen the Hummer since the attack glare at him in satisfaction. By the way, people like this disapprove of nearly everything that it’s fashionable to at any given moment. If there was a spa-treatment that could turn an idle MILF into a pitiable Andean peasant they’d be standing in line for the first time in their lives for it.
Neighbors admit they don't like gas-guzzling Hummers.
Meanwhile, Dad is pretending that he knows baseball stats, and REAL former Andean peasants are raising their children for them. They really should stick to their campaign for magical non-violent regime change in Tibet on the way to their “farms” in New England.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
There was a plane, building, and fuel involved. Surely it was a hoax!
Those truthers had better get cracking and start "truthing" - to be intellectually consistent with their Aryan science that claims that planes, (if they really exist!) can demolish buildings and ignite fires at all - that is, if fuel, buildings, and fires themselves aren't just a devious capitalist invention imposed on humanity by Bu$hChimpyHitlerburton - because a “truth” from 2001 isn’t about actual events, it’s always about something else that’s been chafing the underoos at bong-smoking losers since 1967.
Go ahead - use that "truthy" logic with the families and friends of these victims. See how they react.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
New European integration scheme not unlike old European integration scheme.
A Holocaust memorial at a Berlin train station where tens of thousands of Jews were once shipped to Nazi concentration camps was vandalized overnight, police said Wednesday.In case you’re wondering, Grünewald station isn’t exactly in ‘da hood. It’s in the boonies, if Berlin had anything you could call the boonies.
Several candles near the train tracks at Grunewald station had been knocked over, and an Israeli flag was burned, Berlin police said in a statement. Such acts are considered crimes in Germany.
The Grunewald memorial is called "Platform 17," commemorating the more than 50,000 Jews transported from the station to concentration camps.
- h/t Clarsonimus
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
A newspaper in the American South once claimed readership and reporting that covered Dixie like the dew. In the league of cynical response, that line linked up with a put-down which lives on with real universality: yeah, a mile wide, and an inch deep.Thus does John Vinocur start his article in the International Herald Tribune about France under "a new leader who could well be called the omnipresident and who "has leapt into French life as the man who will change everything."
The hitch is that on inspection the depth of Sarkozy's convictions — or in many cases their definition — has not become clear.Meanwhile, Bernard-Henri Lévy chimes in with a book review (although a reader complains that as "we progress through the [review's] seemingly endless Proustian sentences, it becomes increasingly difficult to tell whether Henri-Lévy is writing about Sarkozy or about another subject particularly close to his heart, namely Bernard Henri-Lévy"). In Sarkozy's Testimony ("two [French] books combined into one for publication in English"), BHL tells us, we
The mile-wide, inch-deep label would be cruel and hasty. Still, for early days, the contradictions are already there. Examples:
… Last week, when a whiff of renewal concerning French Middle East policy was in the air - Sarkozy quite reasonably referred to Hezbollah as "terrorist" - the presidential bureaucracy reverted to form 24 hours later, reaffirming France's opposition to including Hezbollah on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations.
A day or two later, the president, who as the campaigning Sarkozy openly expressed his unwillingness to let Russia strengthen its strategic influence over Europe, was on the phone with Vladimir Putin. Gazprom had just picked Total, the French energy concern, to assist in the development of its vast Stokman gas reserves.
The deal limited Total's involvement to that of a hired hand, with Gazprom controlling 100 percent ownership of the gas the new field will produce. Much of France's requirement happily comes from non-Russian sources and nuclear power, yet the now presidential Sarkozy passed up on the occasion to express concern about a regime that uses gas and oil as a means of pressure on other EU members.
This was not a new France speaking out on what its new leader, two months earlier, said was on his mind.
Concerning the EU itself, Sarkozy's voice, rather than solely that of a nation embodying change and cooperation as its new European creed, alternately has been one of the old self-interested France, comfortable with slipping around its obligations as a team player.
Sarkozy has talked up both a European industrial policy, which decoded comes out as reflexive French protectionism, and greater political involvement in policy making at the European Central Bank, which basically boils down to a desire to bolster French competitiveness through a cheaper euro.
…So, where and when do the breadth of Sarkozy's presidential presence, his considerable double-edged language, and - based on performance so far - the legitimate questions about the variable level of his commitment to change run into political reality, and/or trouble?
discover a young man, apparently happy, whose evident good humor seems to be a part of his political agenda. Much has been said about his postelection escapade in Malta on the ostentatious yacht of the French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, which some have called Sarkozy's first political mistake. What if it was the other way around? What if the gesture was really in keeping with the part of his project that calls for unguilting us when it comes to luxury, success and money, even at the risk of going whole hog into bad taste and kitsch? What if this young president wanted to reconcile France, if not with actual happiness, then with the signs of happiness that our puritanism, our depression and fear of glitter and success, have long discredited and suppressed?
…we discover — as will Americans — the first of our presidents for whom our relationship with the rest of the world is so clearly inspired by the best result of the antitotalitarian movements of the '70s and '80s, namely a fidelity to Israel that will no longer waver in the face of "ups and downs in our interests in Arab societies"; a sensitivity to genocide and in particular to the Holocaust, that "stain on the 20th century and all of human history"; a refusal of that "cultural relativism" that would allow us to look at the Chechen drama or the fate of Chinese political prisoners differently from events happening in Europe; a true concern that human rights be respected in relationships between states, between democracies and dictatorships; and last but not least, his view of America, for which, beginning in his preface, he declares an outright and unfeigned admiration if not love, contrasting sharply with the stubborn anti-Americanism that for decades has been part of the platform of much of the French political class.
So in light of all that, why did I not vote for him? And why for the entire campaign, unlike most of my comrades in the ideological battles of the last 30 years, unlike most of my friends from the leftist anticommunist movement born during the 1970s, did I fight against this man who seems so likable?
… Where would the United States be if it were not ashamed of its past of slavery, then of racism? Where would France be if — under the pretext that, as Sarkozy says, we have not "produced" a Hitler (true) or Stalin (unclear, given how much the French intelligentsia participated in the creation of the Stalinist vulgate) or Pol Pot (rather doubtful, given that Pol Pot and his men all trained in Paris, in the very cradle of human rights) — we were simply to sing together the sinister "proud to be French" refrain the new president keeps humming, which amounts to finessing, for example, the enormous anti-Semitism of the Dreyfus era, or the huge collaborationist enthusiasm of the cultural and administrative elite in the darkest Vichy years, or the practice of state-sanctioned torture in the last years of the war in Algeria?
Monday, July 16, 2007
Celebrating the “strength” of the overvalued Euro, our intrepid Le Monde cartoonist can’t even bring himself to use the color blue. Instead, while favoring book-burning red, he doesn’t seem to realize that he lives in an export economy where their overpriced rubbish now costs even more.
This euro-bravado is funnier still given that it comes from a place where an extended global economic boom nearly passed them up entirely, and only now seems to be kicking in after about a decade of fits and starts.
French people are not against McDonald's. They are against the Bush administration," José Bové, the radical farmer and French presidential candidate, said in an interview.How, HOW do you get to the point where you make something as meaningless as a retail outlet that is a vast sanitary improvement over the cruddy corner “Sandwicherie” an object of “philosophical” discussions, a bit of shorthand for a nation five times as populous that they refuse to understand, and a dagger of the mind?
Easy. Have an empty life, nothing to say, and let a unexplainable cancerous well of envy grow inside you that you actively ignore:
Last year, McDonald's sales in France grew by 8%, almost doubling its growth in American sales, which have also rebounded in recent years. Every 12 months, one out of two French people visit McDonald's at least once. Annually, they consume 22 million McDonald's salads, 60,000 tons of French fries, 32,000 tons of beef patties, 12,000 tons of chicken, and 600 million buns.Things are truly hopeless when
"We hate it and go to it. It's our paradox," a journalist for the French magazine Challenges, Alice Mérieux, said. "We're very anti-American in principle, but individually, if you're going to the movies and have to eat in 10 minutes, you go to McDonald's."
Merlin the Wizard Bové himself barely realizes that Mickey D’s predates (even “semioticly” in the French left’s banal tradition of illogic) the object of his weird fixation, George Bush.
It takes an infantile mind to associate a product, logo, or fast food joint for that matter with the characterized culture of a whole society. Nonetheless, a culture so obsessed with touting its’ own ubiquity of intellectualism is reduced to being blinkered by just that. To do otherwise just wouldn’t be simple enough, I guess.
-H/T to Valerie
Sunday, July 15, 2007
The radio 4 way: when you feel no need to prove your throbbing, pulsating hatred for something, and don’t even have a chance of arguing it under the cover of bad-journalism, you do it in the form of a play.
Called to Account!Normally, they call this broadcast segment the “classic radio play” which almost always ALWAYS revolves around the early days of Communism, the Soviet revolution, or some other subject that cramps the mind of the most fantasist of the left in middle age. They can tell themselves listening through an exercise in their self-pitying angst has some sort of traditional “classicism,” and as such something respectable about it. The incredibly sad part isn’t just the characterization opportunities that they use to throw in the occasional objectified American, but the “class struggle” Rorschach signaling that always seems to use an Irish accent for the oppressed™, but that the heroine is always a put upon young female whose role is rewritten from the original form of condescension as a weakling in need of rescue to the condescension as a put-upon secular Saint “empowered” in spite of the absence of the intelligence, resourcefulness, or decency evident on any human not raised on decades Gramscian organic fertilizer.
Acclaimed play asking if Tony Blair was guilty of war crimes.
Thereafter, yet another installment of the self-absorbed “Women Sour,” in search of new and exciting victims you never knew were worth caring about. As I write this, they are presently hosting an “investigative” piece about the conspiracy that medicine has against women, and that the problem can be solved in some kind of grant or funding that they’re arguing for. Don’t confuse this with the “Womens’ Hour Drama”, which is more or less the under-the-radar “Real IRA” to the nominal radio drama’s Gerry Adams.
Of course they refuse to count among them the genocides tacitly caused by pacifism.