Saturday, February 23, 2008

La victoire des barbudos a réveillé en l'intelligentsia française une vieille passion française pour la révolution

Des années durant, la gauche s'était passionnée pour une aventure dont les prémices portaient pourtant en germe une vérité déprimante : le castrisme était un totalitarisme. Les décennies ont passé, mais les admirateurs du régime cubain n'ont pas tous désarmé. Aujourd'hui encore, alors que "Fidel" quitte la scène, le castrisme compte toujours des partisans, qui entretiennent la flamme de cette durable exception française.
Thus writes Bertrand Le Gendre in Le Monde before he goes on to evoke Hugo Chavez and "l'intouchable" Che Guevara (even taking on Le Monde diplomatique).
A l'heure où Sartre et Le Monde s'extasient, "Fidel", Raul Castro et Guevara ont déjà fait exécuter plus de six cents partisans du dictateur Batista, ou prétendus tels. Le nouveau régime refuse d'organiser des élections. La presse est bâillonnée et les prisons se remplissent d'opposants. Tout cela est connu, public. Mais l'intelligentsia française vit à l'heure du tiers-mondisme. Elle préfère fermer les yeux. La victoire des barbudos a réveillé en elle une vieille passion française pour la révolution. Elle croit dur comme fer à l'avènement d'un homme nouveau dans cette île à la douceur tropicale qui ne s'est pas encore acoquinée avec Moscou.
Just in case you think Bertrand Le Gendre, Le Monde, and/or France are finally coming to their senses, it is good to remember that in April 2002, Le Gendre was the man excoriating Uncle Sam for its "obsessions" with "evils" like communism and the Axis of Evil (but not, strangely — and significantly — enough, Nazism); this, after admitting that, sure, Saddam Hussein was ("is" at the time) a tyrant, but immediately tempering this "acknowledgment" with the remark that his rule could not ("cannot") be summed up by a detail like that.

Thus members of the Left are constantly waking up to the Left's mistakes (and/or crimes) of the past. They are rarely, if ever, awake, to the Left's mistakes (and/or crimes) of the present. Thus they can continue to vehicle endlessly this heroic vision of themselves as prophets and fighters of injustice. As I write in my book,
Une grande partie de l’Histoire de l’Europe (et d’une bonne partie de la Terre entière), c’est l’histoire qu’on découvre 40, 50, 60 ans après, voire plus. C’est mieux que rien, je suppose, mais ce qui est intéressant, c’est que cette tradition permet aux citoyens de continuer à (se) dire qu’ils sont des parangons de la vertu, de la raison, et de la générosité. Et quand ils sont confrontés à ces révélations, ils peuvent (se) dire : oui, c’est terrible, mais c’était une autre génération, nous avons heureusement (beaucoup) évolué depuis lors. Sauf qu’évidemment, les citoyens de l’époque (les ancêtres des autres) se disaient... exactement la même chose (cf. les pacifistes des années 1930 …)

Trouble in Paradise

Discontent amongst 'dem unemployed and minimum wage hacks over at Looks like some of the idealists are starting to realize that Rue89 and, far from pulling off the renewal of French journalism that they blather on about, are simply racing to the bottom of a Marxist-Leninist(in terms of their content)-Stalinist (in terms of their management) shitpile.

Europa, Isolated

Victor David Hanson points out that Europeans will probably have to start asking themselves "why do they hate us!?!?"

Europe is short on energy and depends on illiberal Russia and the Middle East for its fuel. Both these regions are sick and tired of Europe’s empty lectures about human rights and feel only disdain for its absence of military might to back up its sermonizing. But Europe is also anti-American, and now in a world of Ahmadinejihads, Putins, Chinese communist apparatchiks, and thuggish Latin American strongmen, it has more or less alienated the only reliable and capable resource it might have drawn on — the goodwill of the United States.

[ ... ]
Our response to this Euro-neuroticism?

We are weary and tired of it. As our ancestors out West used to sing, “Yippy ti yi yo, get along little dogies, It's all your misfortune and none of my own…”

Speaking Truth to Impotence

A recent Wall Street Journal Europe’s editorial reflects on the wet noodle of European non-nationhood when anything, and I mean ANYTHING comes up.

The European Union got a chance to redeem itself for a big sin of the previous decade and show its vaunted "common foreign policy" in action. We'd like to report it didn't blow it. Alas, we can't.

The occasion was Kosovo's declaration of independence on Sunday. A unified EU stance might have started to make good, at last, on Jacques Poos's infamous 1991 declaration that "the hour of Europe has dawned." Soon after, the EU broke up over Yugoslavia, which collapsed in a series of wars that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. The U.S. had to step in to save the EU and the Balkans.

This week seemed like déjà vu all over again, fortunately without the blood. Spain opened the EU meeting on Kosovo by proclaiming that the U.N. protectorate's declaration did "not respect international law." The ruling Socialists were apparently enraged that the Kosovars didn't have the decency to wait to claim their sovereignty until Spain held national elections next month.
Kosovo is precisely that sort of ‘anything’ that, being in their front yard might just require some sort of attention, which the über-mega-sooper-dooper-nation of superior everything-ness managed to treat like it barely deserved a press release written by a flunky who’s expertise isn’t even in waste management.
In the meantime, the Greeks again threaten to torpedo the EU's grand designs for the Balkans all over a name for its northern neighbor, which Athens insists must be called Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or the Orwellian FYROM. Unless the Macedonians stand down, Athens will veto its EU and NATO membership. The U.S. and most EU countries recognize Macedonia by its chosen name. A U.N. mediator yesterday put forward new proposals to settle this absurd and costly 17-year-old dispute.

So let there be no illusions. About the only thing that's "common" about the EU's foreign policy is its sheer pettiness, absence of strategic vision and unwillingness to back up grand claims to global leadership with resources or political will.
Say what you will about the Greeks... after all, other Europeans will when they try to waive this embarrassment off in a way that seems socially acceptable, even as they tch-tch the rest of the world’s terrible addiction to nationality and such.

Meanwhile back in Manhattan, Kissinger, the left’s original hate-puppet and singin’-n’-dancin’ prince of darkness, sums up the risk to humanity that Europe is encouraging if not then becoming:
Kissinger: The major events in European history were conducted by nation-states which developed over several hundred years. There was never a question in the mind of European populations that the state was authorized to ask for sacrifices and that the citizens had a duty to carry it out. Now the structure of the nation-state has been given up to some considerable extent in Europe. And the capacity of governments to ask for sacrifices has diminished correspondingly.

SPIEGEL: Thirty years ago, you asked for one phone number that could be used to call Europe.

Kissinger: ... and it happened. The problem now is: Nation-states have not just given up part of their sovereignty to the European Union but also part of their vision for their own future. Their future is now tied to the European Union, and the EU has not yet achieved a vision and loyalty comparable to the nation-state. So, there is a vacuum between Europe's past and Europe's future.
I would just call them emotionally needy bozos aspiring to globally be the Pookie Adams character in ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’, but I’m not selling books like Dr. K. is, and frankly, I though Pookie was talented and kind of cute in a psychotic kind of way.
Kissinger: I think Angela Merkel, like any leader, has to think of her re-election. I have high regard for her. But I do not know many Europeans who would deny that the victory of radical Islam in Baghdad, Beirut or Saudi Arabia would have huge consequences for the West. However, they are not willing to fight to prevent it.

SPIEGEL: For example in Afghanistan. Does NATO need more German troops in the southern part of the country?

Kissinger: I think it is obvious that the United States cannot permanently do all the fighting for Western interests by itself. So, two conclusions are possible: Either there are no Western interests in the region and we don't fight. Or there are vital Western interests in the region and we have to fight. That means we need more German and NATO troops in Afghanistan. What I am not comfortable with is that some NATO members send troops primarily for non-combat missions. That cannot be a healthy situation in the long term.
Meanwhile the old goat of latter-day ‘realpolitik’ speaks. Too bad he doesn’t make any sense.
Dear Americans... What can the world expect from you? Twelve questions for the candidates – By Helmut Schmidt
Where he lost me was in the ‘nuanced’ part of his spoken disposition – the one where he believes that Europe both needs to be taken seriously, if not outright obeyed, and the Europe that is still somehow a ward of U.S.
Europe’s faith in the United States may be shaken, yet we wish to maintain the transatlantic partnership. We want to be able to love America again but we have become skeptical, because for the past 10 years, Washington has turned to us only when it has needed troops or money.
Which the US did after the bellowing calls from across the Atlantic that the US shouldn’t leave them out or go it alone. As for the troops and money, the loudest boors in Europe never managed to actually provide either in any manner that wasn’t a symbolic pittance played to their ignorant audiences at home.
All the same, we Europeans are well aware of our own weaknesses. Although we work together in regulating our funicular railways and the depth of water pools in our zoos, a “common foreign policy” in the European Union still exists in theory only. That is why we hope the new president will lead rationally and multilaterally – not least because we are convinced of America’s vitality.
Yet another “Daddy drinks because you cry” sort of sales pitch, and you can hardly hear the violins.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cluetrain Manifesto

Lessig for Congress, my ass! Now this is what I call effective intellectual property rights protection.

There is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second: surrender

How much has changed in half a century?
If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one."

Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second--surrender.

Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face--that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand--the ultimatum. And what then?

When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.

If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.

You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.

You and I have the courage to say to our enemies, "There is a price we will not pay, there is a point beyond which they must not advance."

Rendezvous with Destiny

It's their default mode

Europeans at each other's throats.

Old Fascism or the New Left?

Which is which?

The non-dom is to our age what Loadsamoney was to the 1980s. Where the grotesque comic representation of Margaret Thatcher's government was a wad-waving oaf, the equivalent caricature of the esprit Brown would be all Bentley and Cipriani (the hedge funds' favourite nosherie, in west London). He would be a tax-avoiding plutocrat who does billion-dollar deals from an office in Mayfair and occasionally loans his paintings to the Tate.

But these mind-bogglingly wealthy non-doms - who live and work here but keep most of their assets offshore, out of the grasping hands of the taxman - are a cartoon come to real, gilded life. They are among the dramatis personae of my new book: I have been lunching them for years as a central responsibility of my day job as a business editor - but since it's at the BBC, when they're out with me they have to experience how the other 99.9% of us live.
Labor Front Leader Dr. Robert Ley began a speaking tour of German industrial areas to explain the "revolution" to the workers. Before he left Berlin he published in the Goebbels newsorgan Der Angriff words that could easily have originated in Moscow:

"Money rules the world, but National Socialism does not acknowledge the rule of money. . . . The Führer said, 'I am perhaps the only head of a State who does not even have a bank account.' The National Socialist State leadership has not only destroyed plutocracy in Germany and allotted to money its proper role in economy, it also has freed the workers from the exploiters' fetters. The National Socialist economic order has freed itself, not only from the fetters of money in our land, but—and that is decisive—from the fetters of international money rule."

Okay, so I made it easy, but you’ll probably appreciate the pervasiveness of the ideas they share in common, and the fact that today’s “rebels” and “humanists” still think that the Nazis weren’t leftist, who just like them, were as in love with ‘the people’ as they are.

- Thanky thanky to Baghdad George

Europeans Healing the World Through Taxation, Episode № 268

Christine Lagarde told LCI television that Sarkozy had asked the new IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a Frenchman, to consider a tax that would affect oil companies worldwide.
The French want a “Global Tax”, as if there was a ‘global government’ to collect it for them. The goal, of course is to force the rest of humanity to hobble its’ economy as much as they’re hobbling theirs’, and to maintain a ‘competitive advantage’ in the world marketplace, they need the worlds’ help – to do this the rest of humanity has to go along with another bit of foolish (and poverty creating) European moral vanity.
Environmentalists and others in France have long floated the idea of taxing French oil giant Total, whose record-breaking profits they regard as reprehensible. The company, France's biggest by market value, reported Wednesday that net profit was up by 62 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 3.6 billion euros ($5.23 billion).

Lagarde said the French government was pushing for a global tax so that not only Total -- the world's fourth-largest oil and gas company -- would be penalized.
Note how the grand and glorious industrial work that made Europe into a parking lot is shunted aside. The old arguments about trade barriers being a human virtue, are replaced by the fake concern city dwellers have for the environment is neatly folded into the idea that PROFITS are reprehensible.

If they only knew that energy is already one of the most taxed things out there that you can’t drink or smoke.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Better screwed than rude

Is sharia, polygamy, routine first-cousin marriage in the interests of Canada or Britain or Europe? Oh, dear, even to raise the subject is to tiptoe into all kinds of uncomfortable terrain for the multicultural mindset. It's easier just to look the other way, or go Nazi-hunting in the men's room.

Heh. sort of an Indymedia run by a bunch of unemployed hacks. Oh wait, that is Indymedia

The French preSS is no longer able to spew the usual drivel about a racist AmeriKKKa now that Obama has easily won several states that are majority white. Rather than backtrack and, God forbid, admit that they were wrong about Middle America, French journalmalists simply change the old hate speech for a new hate speech and declare that America's election process is a sham.

Is ignorance the culprit here, or is it ingratitude — or perhaps an unhealthy mix of the two?

…shouldn't the fact that a black woman from the south side of Chicago can graduate from two Ivy League schools itself be enough to make Mrs. Obama proud of such a country?
asks Investor's Business Daily as Mrs. Barack Obama demonstrates how ignorance and ingratitude (and resentment) dominate the values of the left (as well as, indeed, the campaign of the Democrats' major front runner) and, indeed, are cultivated there.
Michelle Obama was born in 1964, so her adulthood began in 1982. Is there really nothing about America she could think of to be proud of over the past quarter-century? How about the way firefighters, EMT personnel, police and ordinary people sacrificed to help each other in the aftermath of 9/11?
Maybe she forgot about the billions we gave in charity after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed hundreds of thousands and left homeless over a million more, contributions dwarfing those of other countries — including hundreds of millions of dollars from those evil American corporations.

She may have been unaware that the U.S. military mobilized an aircraft carrier battle group and dispatched numerous strategic and tactical airlifters, plus dozens of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters, in efforts that ranged from search-and-rescue to disaster relief. The Navy also deployed the 1,000-bed hospital ship USNS Mercy.

By the way, a quick look at the census life expectancy tables show that American blacks in 1982 could expect to live just 69.4 years. Due to improvements in medicine and greater access to care, today it's 74 years of expected life. She's not proud of that?
In related matters, read about the American president who has done the most for Africa in the article First African President (hint: it's the same one who has brought more minorities into his administration than any other president, although you wouldn't know this from the mainstream media). But don't expect the Democrats to make anything of that (I forgot where I read this and got this hyperlink, but check out what the Democratic Party website's history page has (not) to say about the party's history from the 1850s until the turn of the century)…

The Cap'n points out (thanks to Chris and TIA Daily) the usual double standards as well as "the religion of statism distilled to its essence":
People mocked Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney for their religious backgrounds often during the presidential campaigns, but at least they never claimed to be on a mission to save the souls of Americans through government action. Oh, people accused them of wanting to do so -- to impose Southern Baptist or Mormon theology on an America that wants relentless secularism, but in point of fact both men gave stirring speeches on how their faith informs them personally but not their governance.
Leading Michelle Malkin to conclude:
When Republicans talk about broken souls in the context of civil society, the nutroots start screaming about the obliteration of the church-state line.

When the Obama campaign uses the same rhetoric to get him elected to the White House, everyone swoons.

For years we've heard from you that [our troops] don't belong in Iraq, and now you're telling our troops they don't belong in America?!

They Could Tell She was Getting into it when She Dropped Her Crisps

They should have been double bagging it anyway.

Six different men won Internet auctions to have sex with the woman in April and May last year. They were only known to her by their online names, a spokesman for a court in the southwestern city of Stuttgart said Wednesday.

"The woman wanted to discover which one of the men had made her pregnant," the spokesman said. "So she needed their contact details. Of course, if they're not willing to go along with the gene test, she'll have to take them to court."
At least it wasn’t a Dutch auction, which goes to the lowest bid that the seller can tolerate.

Actually, this could prove to be an interesting social metric. Rising or falling prices can tell you just how bad these guys need to pay for it, and thus if their overall likability is becoming more or less desiccated in any given year. As for her, well... we can only see if she prices above or below average. Either way, in the lawsuit we see the politics of entitlement colliding into the flower of entitlement politics.

Bafflingly Poor Math for a Doctor

Kouchner is becoming quite a buffoon.

French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner was in Gaza yesterday and made a total jerk of himself. Kouchner told reporters that Israel shouldn't inspect trucks from Gaza because 'not all of them are carrying bombs.'
Maybe they should stop scanning luggage at Charles De Gaulle too, since not all of the bags can’t contain bombs too.

So it’s no surprise that when the matter of a Kosovar declaration of independence came up, that the EUtopian complained that this decision ‘was not made in Europe’ and of being soundly ignored by none other than the Kosovars themselves. Kouchner himself was left with the only choice of ‘wishing them luck’, as if he really had to be heard on the matter.

Look, they’re either involved, or they aren’t. If they want to spend another three decades convincing themselves that they matter by triangulating and getting in the way of ‘the adults’, then so be it. They’ll be taken with all the due seriousness that it merits – which is to say the limited respect of nations who have to due to some limited economic dependence on them.

You can ignore them as readily as these flummoxed commenters, who don’t quite realize that if Castro’s regime melts down, the US will have to build a real elective democracy, and real health and education systems there, and make it safe for the pillow biters that Castro’s western fans think are uner the big tent, but fail to notice their repression in “socially just” Cuba.

After all, not all, but only some of them might be jailed for their views, beliefs, or lifestyle.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Their House is a Museum When People Come to See 'Em

They really are a scree-um...:

Over the past decade, the region has pushed away more economic development than the average French region, and the trend is accelerating.

No capital region in the world loses has lost jobs as Paris has. Blinded by its brilliant past, badly governed, fragmented in his selfishness, it’s anemic and failing to register strongly in the global competition of cities in the twenty-first century.
Not to be confused with that lucid “knowing better about things”, here we find a testimony to the idea of a mealy-mouthed formed of socialism which intends to equalize the appreciative masses – trading steady, equitable growth for, say, most of your liberties. Sure seems to be working wonders, eh?
The economic decline of Ile-de-France was expected to be the main topic of municipal elections next March. But "the elected officials in the region were all put in line," according to Lawrence Davezies.

Among the bobos, those privileged citizens of Paris, "they are happy that the mayor attends more to them than the health of the local economy." Read the list of "projects" of the candidates for mayor: kindergartens, cleaner busses and trains, getting exercise, safety… a quick approval process for a museum town.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Flaming Twisted Wreckage V5.0

Alluding to the S & M Club of traditional European notions of governance, one legislator from the former east of Germany reveals the pervasiveness of the programming of the age. It’s where lefty comes from.

Politicians from across the political spectrum are demanding that Christel Wegner, a member of the German Communist Party -- but in parliament as an add-on to the Left Party list -- resign her newly won post. The reason? Just a few weeks into her job, she said on television that the dreaded East German secret police -- the Stasi -- was useful to protect the state from "reactionary forces" and that the Berlin Wall was built to keep West Germans out of East Germany.
But at least it was a society that would see to the peoples’ needs:
"I think that when one builds a new societal form," she said in reference to the Stasi, "then one needs such an organ because one has to protect oneself from other forces, reactionary forces, that look for opportunities to weaken a state from the inside." She went on to say that "the construction of the Wall was, in any case, a measure taken to prevent West Germans from continuing to come into East Germany."
Of course these are the same people who try to convince you that AmeriKKa is an agent of state oppression, run by a shadow government and Dick Cheney, who on 9/11 flew all 4 planes himself, and, and, and, eats babies, and is out to take their oil, and, and, and...

If they really want the personal to be the political, is doesn’t boil down to much more that a desire to extending their loony and inhumane opinions on people who aren’t them. What people do in the privacy of their homes certainly isn’t anyone else’s business, unless, that is, they want a state apparatus holding them down and feeding them the delusion that this makes them ‘freer’ than the rest of humanity, and want the rest of us to share in their ‘fun’.