Call it “art” and vest your hopes in a new and better Dystopia
No one enjoys arguing more than Parisians. Indeed, there is even a case to be made that the history of the city - from the French Revolution of 1789 to riots in the suburbs of November 2005, via the Commune of 1870 and the student revolt of May 1968 - is no more than one long argument. This is, after all, the city where sitting at cafe tables, smoking fags, drinking coffee or booze, and planning to destroy 'society as we know it' was first invented and then made into an art form. I first came here in the Eighties and fell in love immediately with the famous Parisian culture of la contestation (basically an intellectual French justification for having a belting row, usually accompanied by drink) and I have been here on and off ever since, writing books on the city and its people, teaching French (mainly Parisian) literature and always enjoying my immersion into a world where - from the Glorious Revolution to the recent riots - intellectual violence is never that far away from the real thing.As such, one loony lefty writer has proposed to salve his personal queasiness with the successfully argumentative ”inclusive” multi-culti reprobates by deleting from the most illustrative of European cities the notion of its’ remaining Euro-ness.
As a “cure”.
How to ensure that Europe's beautiful old cities remain vibrant cultural and economic centres for the third millennium? It's a puzzle that has intrigued politicians for years.
One far-left Spanish novelist who lived in Paris has come up with a novel approach to the challenge: "De-Europeanise" the French capital, throwing its portes open to a new generation of immigrants (mostly from Africa) who will "destroy" Paris in order to recreate it for the 21st century.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Call it “art” and vest your hopes in a new and better Dystopia
Just like those regime-change hating people spending decades trying to “free Tibet” with dopey little stickers.
If Le Monde wants to construct a well of public hatred against America, at least they should get their terminology right.
Created ostensibly to promote honesty in the media and defend those who report from the influence of influencial parties, specifically governments and international organizations, Reporters Without Borders promotes itself as a kind of Red Cross of information beyond the reach of corruption or manipulation. They’re supposed to be the ones in the white hats who ride in to defend the channels of communication from governments when they coerce or bar the press to get them to act at their will.
At least that’s what they say they do. World Politics Review has noted just how rigged up the whole basis of their foundation and claims really are.
Last month, the Paris-based advocacy group Reporters Without Borders released its annual "Press Freedom Index," which ostensibly "measures the level of press freedom in 169 countries throughout the world." (Reflecting its French origins, Reporters Without Borders is most commonly known internationally by its French initials, RSF for Reporters sans frontières, and this acronym will be used here.) The 14 countries performing best in the RSF evaluation were all European, as were 17 of the top 20, 20 of the top 25, and 25 of the top 35. The United States placed a very mediocre 48th -- just behind Nicaragua. "Outside Europe," the RSF press release notes, "no region of the world has been spared censorship or violence towards journalists" -- an assessment that suggests that Europe has indeed been "spared" both. All you have to do is follow the money.
The performance of European countries in the RSF press freedom rankings is impressive. It becomes less impressive, however, when one knows the extent to which RSF depends for its financing upon European governments: either directly or indirectly via the European Union. RSF is commonly referred to as a "non-governmental organization" or "NGO." But in light of its financial dependence upon and close ties to, in particular, the French government and, above all, European institutions, RSF could be regarded as the very prototype of what might better be called a "PGO": a "para-governmental organization." As will be seen in Part II of this exposé (to be published next week), its highly curious rankings map far better upon the external -- and, in certain cases, internal -- political agenda of the European Union than upon any concrete indicators of press freedoms, or restrictions thereupon, in the countries RSF claims to be objectively evaluating.
To start with, and by its own reckoning, 9 percent of RSF's 2006 income consisted of "public subsidies." The source of these subsidies is, namely, the French state. The Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the International Organization for "Francophonie" (OIF) are specifically mentioned as contributors. (On the largely French-funded OIF, see here.) This 9 percent figure represents, again by RSF's reckoning, "a very slight decline" compared to 2005 (when the French subsidies represented 10 percent of the RSF budget). What Rosenthal finds is that RSF has grown into a willing Propaganda operation for hire: they could discuss the glories of their nations, professions, and themselves on the taxpayers' nickel
In RSF's published 2006 accounts, which include only aggregate numbers, the budget line "subsidies" lists some €562,179 in income for 2006. This, however, amounts to 15 percent, not 9 percent, of RSF's total budget of nearly 3.9 million euros. It is down, moreover, from some €1,225,567 in 2005 -- which, as a percentage of RSF's relatively stable total budget, clearly represents far more than just a "very slight" 1 percent decline. These anomalies presumably indicate that some other -- unnamed and not French -- source is being counted under the heading of "subsidies" in the accounts.
More puzzling still, in the English version of the RSF 2006 accounts, the subsidies line in the French accounts quite simply . . . disappears.
Even if RSF continues to enjoy a special (if, as will be seen in Part II, sometimes, conflicted) relationship with the French government, the French subsidies it receives have over the years been far outstripped by those it receives from another "public" source: namely, the European Commission. A May 2001 European Commission working paper (link in French) lists a grant of some €1,487,000 to RSF. This figure would at the time have represented over half of RSF's total annual budget. In the same year, RSF was accorded yet another EU grant of €300,000. The Commission working paper notes that RSF "has long been a partner of the Commission in realizing activities focusing on the preservation and encouragement of independent media." It then goes on to describe at length the benefits expected from the grant to RSF, treating RSF throughout as just a vector of its own activity in the area of ostensible promotion of press freedoms. ("These activities will give rise to a large number of publications and other projects," the working paper notes, "such as the annual RSF reports for 2001 and 2002, which will focus on cases of imprisoned journalists.")In other words, the metrics pointing to their own purity of everything uses means as simple and crass as a shoebox full of cash is engineered to promote the nation as a product, without flaws or lapses in ethics such as these:
As such, we’ve coined the term "bogus opposition” to identify the sources of those people who try to find substitutes for real opponents [of the government]. At the service of the regime, these “faux-opposants” deliver a message hostile to any change in the regime. In other words, bought off at the service of a hostile theist regime which has already managed to spend nearly a decade playing the governments of the population that AFP serves like a violin. Playing them in this manner doesn’t serve the cause of any interest in the truth. Were the truth not something that the Iranian regime feared, none of this would be necessary.
Our task is made all the more difficult because the AFP Iran Bureau talks tirelessly of moderation or pragmatism reminiscent of the past, of moderates who’ve gotten their hands dirty, sometimes under an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity for murder, or real exiled members of the opposition.
Right beside news written by the AFP Iran Bureau, are copies of dispatches written by the Iranian press agency official of the regime of the mullahs, IRNA!
Now our task is even more difficult because it is in Paris at the premises of the AFP, that the directors-general of the Iranian news agency, IRNA, and French AFP, have signed an agreement to “promote their cooperation.”
The making rare of any access they can have, and then dispensing it by the spoonful at the cost of honesty points clearly to the Iranian regime’s intent.
Friday, November 09, 2007
"I never understood why we had to fight with the United States," Sarkozy told business leaders Tuesday night; "I never got it"
Nicolas Sarkozy's warm embrace of America on Wednesday did much to improve a relationship his "sophisticated" predecessor had trashededitorializes Investor's Business Daily, which also carries Nicolas Sarkozy's speech… IBD goes on to say that
Though there's no reason to doubt Sarkozy's sincerity, his approach also is pragmatic. Ending perceptions that America is a "hegemon" whose strength comes only at the expense of others, is a ridiculous reading of the U.S. to which only Europe's elite could cling.
Apparently, that was not a good idea. Usually, I have encountered no problem in leaving comments on Le Monde.fr. For a recent article, however, I left a first comment, which was duly accepted, but the following day, I left a second message. When I checked a few hours later, it had not been accepted, and the "window" that allowed for the writing of a second message — usually "shut" after a user's second message has been accepted (since a maximum of only two are allowed) — was open again. This p'd me off, as I had to write the whole thing again (again taking pain-staking measures to make sure that the comment fit in the 500-character space), but I blamed the problem on my badly-functioning computer. A couple of hours later, however, it had again reverted to "you have one comment left to post". When rewriting it this time, I duly made a copy and over the next 30 hours, I have posted it again and again — all to no effect. It's apparently not good enough. It's apparently not worth keeping. It's apparently not as intelligent, and as reasoned, and as thought out, and as intellectual as all of the other comments on the site.
You can read the two comments on Le Monde Watch, (in blockquote form at the end of the article) — the one that was accepted and the one that was (that until now, at least, has been) censored — and you can judge for yourself what might have the cause of Le Monde.fr's intense displeasure (although Le Monde Watch's French text offers a couple of suggestions as the tabos that were violated)…
Strikingly naïve students (who protested today) will join the Metro workers strike. Or is that vice-versa – it’s so hard to tell anymore.
French students took their growing protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy's reforms onto the streets of Paris on Thursday and the government accused them of jumping on the bandwagon of demonstrations over pension reform.They are protesting a law which will... do what?
Hundreds of students, chanting, setting off flares and bearing banners with slogans like "Together everything is possible, in the streets!" and "Free culture, public education!" marched from the Place de la Bastille in central Paris.
The law, which injects 1 billion euros ($1.46 billion) into higher education, grants universities more freedom to choose their own students and opens the way for some private sector financing to boost public funding.Of course they don’t realize that the moment government institutionalized the culture by trying to manage it, in effect mugging it, dosing it with formaldehyde, and sticking it in a museum instead of letting it evolve and live – it stopped being “free”.
Student unions say the law does nothing to address student povertyWhich they are too stupid to realize is temporary. Everywhere else on earth (outside of the third world) it normally ends in graduation and getting a job.
Then again, what all of this amounts to at this point is about 200 of the little pischers at each protest, with the rest of them probably wondering why they’re protesting against Universities having more autonomy.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Life is just a meaningless coincidence… result of long process of evolution and many several factors, causes and effects. However, life is also something that an individual wants and determines it to be. And I’m the dictator and god of my own life. And me, I have chosen my way. I am prepared to fight and die for my cause. I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection.
- Murderer Pekka-Eric Auvinen
Seven teenagers were killed when an 18-year-old student went on a rampage at his school in southern Finland after announcing the bloodbath with a posting on the internet site YouTube.When there is some sort of public violence in teh US, especially in schools, the BBC bolts into action pre-empting the schedules of their call-in programs to talk about it endlessly and in circles. Not so with the latest outburst in Finland, a nation any traveler who’s been to a bar or club there can tell you is populated with an unusual number of violent alcoholics.
The murderer, named by police as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, then shot himself in the head and died in hospital last night. He killed eight people, including his headteacher, after moving from classroom to classroom and spraying them with gunfire at the secondary he attended in Tuusula, a small town north of Helsinki.
Almost nowhere is the fact that the shooter yelled “Revolution. Smash everything”, nor will his anti-religious diatribe typical of leftist thought ever be identified as such:
"I cannot say that I am of the same race as this miserable, selfish human race. No!Find me a Conservative critic of revolving door abortion who will say that, and I might reconsider the already emeging theses about this murder being anything other than an expression of the murderer's illness and inhumanity. Notably, predictably, and consistent with his impulse:
"I have evolved a step higher. I am prepared to fight and die for my cause ... I, as a natural selector, will eliminate all who I see unfit, disgraces of human race and failures of natural selection."
We know from our mass media that he was misanthropic, disliked the direction society was headed, and felt himself drawn to extremes to break through the fog of delusion in which most people move. For example, he admired extreme leftist and extreme rightist leaders alike4 and called himself a "social darwinist" and admired "natural selection." (He may have confused "social darwinism," or the theory that linear competitive systems like capitalism and academia produce humanity's best, with Darwinism applied to society.) So like so many emotionally helpless “do-gooders” he attacks anything representing a pillar of traditional society. The only difference between his hatefulness and idiocy and that those that make a living off of it, is that he is better armed.
But a garden variety "humanistic" and "philosophical" mainstream Euro-bigot, where this multiple murder is being characterized as somehow, tangentially “American” take the cake:
He goes on, but apparently to him, Pekka-Eric Auvinen’s evil act is somehow all about oil.
Hah, idiots like that really get on my nerves. While we are on the subject idiots why not rant some about usa as well? Let me start it off with a few quotes.
“america is a Nation with a mission - and that mission comes from our most basic beliefs. We have no desire to dominate, no ambitions of empire. Our aim is a democratic peace - a peace founded upon the dignity and rights of every man and woman.”
- George W. Bush
Auvinen and that blogger seem to share the same, characteristically misguided determinism, but one of them was better armed. In reality, he’s reported to have had heros in the fashion of something a little more home-grown to the continent whose cultures and ideas have killed hundreds of millions in the last century alone:
Investigators did not specify the motives, but several media indicated that the young man was fascinated by weapons and violence. On several occasions he expressed his admiration for Hitler and Stalin. "He comes from a normal family, with both parents and a brother." He had no problem at school," the source added. The student, who had celebrated his 18th birthday in June, was studying philosophy and history in the final year of high school.So by the standards of the previous blogger cited, far to “enlightened” to be American.
Ceaser (government and foreign affairs, Univ. of Virgina) distinguishes between the "metaphysical or symbolic" America (the notion of America as a materialistic, decadent country) and the "real" America (America as a preeminent bastion of freedom and opportunity). The negative concept, he argues, originated in Europe — primarily in Germany and France. To flesh out this idea, he traces the thought of pertinent Germans from Hegel to Heidegger ("with passages through Spengler and Junger") and the French from Buffon to Bandrillard ("with passages through Maistre and Kojeve"). An engagingly written excursion through American and European political and intellectual history. this book touches on an important issue in contemporary American society: not only how other countries see America but the negative attitudes prevalent among certain groups, including academics here at home. In view of the climate of opinion surrounding Waco and Oklahoma City [the book was written in 1997], this book's positive appraisal, written in a style accessible to the lay reader, could be of interest to a wide readership. (Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Mgt. Lib., Washingon, D.C.)When the reviewer mentions "the climate of opinion surrounding Waco and Oklahoma City", it is because James W. Ceaser wrote this book in 1997. But by no means should you let the decade-old publication prevent from buying the book. Au contraire: it shows that when the Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia decided to write the book — due to being fed up with the prevalent anti-Americanism (abroad as well as stateside) — it was during the supposedly warm and cuddly Clinton days of yore! Incidentally, he is in no way a polemicist; his book is written in an entirely matter-of-fact manner. (On my Christmas list is Ceaser's more recent Nature and History in American Political Development…)
Update: Grayp provides a link to a more recent James W. Ceaser article…
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Standing Up to Uncle Sam? Always a Heroic Gesture! But the Arab World? Then It's "Provocative" (!) to Take a Stand for… Freedom of Speech
For Le Monde, apparently (if not, hopefully, for Sarkozy), speaking up and stating one's high-falutin' principles is only for Washington, a democracy in which speaking up is hardly risky and doesn't, in the final analysis, cost you much, and not for any despot ready to, for instance, kill a huge contract if you in any way offend him.
It looks like the brain-children at German department store chain Karstadt (the one in Altstadt Spandau - Berlin) are doing the old bait-n-switch. Their travel agency display advertising “Christmas in New York” promises two buildings that no longer exist. So much for that ol’ historical memory and stuff.
Behold the fascism of the ‘Radio 4’ set: don’t “downgrade” and “degrade” really mean the same thing? Daily Mail: Christmas should be 'downgraded' to help race relations says Labour think tank
Said one commentator:
I really have given up on our future as a Great Britain nation. Show me the exit please.
- Via Brussels Journal
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Since a country's civil servants are financed by the private sector, as are the public functionaries' (very advantageous and very lavish) "special régimes" — and as are their unions' strikes (which are aimed at said private sector)!!! — la BAF decided to spare time (and perhaps prevent the strikes in question) by bringing the taxes, i.e., the dough (in cash, natch) directly to the establishments concerned.
As Revan remarks, it seems that our admirable civil servants "like to receive other people's money for their retirement funds… Above all, however, they don't want to see it or know were it's coming from"…
Airbus’ A380 was late and over budget, so too is their military lifter, the much touted competition for the C-130J, the A400M.
Shares of EADS, based in Paris and Munich, fell as much as 5.1 percent, the most in 16 months. Delays to the A400M, designed to carry 116 paratroops or two attack helicopters, may lead to 1.4 billion euros ($2 billion) in charges and the bill could rise, the company said in a statement today.Initially, trolls dispensing the usual hatefulness on the word that the United States military put in orders for the A400M itself. Strange, how these people who are normally enjoy making a straw-man of some imaginary illuminati of the “the military-industrial complex” and suddenly get very nationalistic and hateful at the same time about “those evil corporations” run (no doubt) by greasy little men in top hats, and twirling their moustaches. As always, it turns out that this is only a philosophical bearing point when the greasy little men aren’t European.
Airbus, the world's biggest maker of commercial planes, may hand over the first A400M a year late after setbacks in engine development, EADS said Oct. 17. Airbus fell two years behind schedule with the A380 superjumbo at a cost of $6.8 billion and was forced to redesign its A350 model to win acceptance from airlines, pushing deliveries five years behind Boeing Co.'s 787.
“The charge for the A400M is higher than we expected,''
You can almost see the constructivist Soviet posters of factory workers punching bolts in their dim little imaginations. Now if they would only “take one for the team,” get off of unemployment welfare, and get a job, they might have a point. For now, I guess they’ll hang their personal pride on people actually working and making something, that great shining attraction to peasants in the 19th century.
In any event, someone at DoD was smart enough to not want that albatross around their neck and that sale turns out to have been false, and tant mieux given that it’s over-budget and behind schedule.
Otherwise, to the lumpenproletariat mindset, it pays to screw up. The cities plants are situated in get to enjoy the time extension that the delay will require, bilking the tax-base for the privilege, and the moronic get to believe that the delay will serve the great cause of pacifism as an absurd defiance of a mysteriously hard to locate “arms lobby”, when it is far more likely that labor unions are pressuring European states to place orders for this thing.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Tighter European economic sanctions against Iran, a more prominent role for France in Afghanistan, support for an independent Kosovo, and the gradual return of France to the command structure of NATO are expected to result from the first state visit of President Sarkozy to Washington tomorrow.
Mr. Sarkozy is expected to make rapid amends for his Gaullist party's five decades of hostility to America this week with a visit to President Bush that includes a state dinner at the White House tomorrow, followed by lunch with the president, a visit to George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, and an address to the joint houses of Congress on Wednesday.
An ad for an art center in Brussels
So people are cattle, except the artist can tell tham that, but still make them think that the image is empathetically telling them that we should sympathize with women who nurture being sufferers, as though there is something un-natural about nurturing – especially in a world where offspring are entirely optional, and don’t need to figure into your sex life.
Remember – it’s sophisticated and because you can abstract from the images the implications, you AREN’T...