Saturday, July 05, 2008
Update: Believe it or not, the New York Times actually has a picture prominently featured on its front page, as does the International Herald Tribune. Time to eat crow? Not so fast: the story (beyond the caption) seems to stand totally uncommented and, as for the New York Times front page picture, look at what stands right next to it: an article entitled… Despair Drives Suicide Attacks by Iraqi Women (sigh).
From macho to gaucho: the desperate struggle against learned helplessness hits new heights in EUtopia:
Few would deny that living side-by-side with stinking, oozing piles of garbage for months on end makes life more difficult. Even in the normally chaotic southern Italian city of Naples, garbage-induced temper tantrums have periodically resulted in trash piles being set on fire -- and the firemen who respond to the call are then pelted with detritus.We had our New Orleans, they have their entire middle class.
Help is on the way. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi not only pledged on Tuesday that the problem would be solved within two weeks, he also is sending a thousand volunteers to Naples to teach the city about the importance of separating recyclables out of their garbage. Among those volunteers will be dozens of psychologists from an organization specially trained for missions in disaster areas. And then they came to change their diapers.
"We’re not talking about psychology in the way that many people understand it," Luigi Ranzato, president of the group Psicologi per i Popoli, which is sending the psychologists, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "Instead, we will be there to try to help introduce a sensibility about garbage disposal to, for example, the old and the young. They need to learn how to separate the garbage so that it doesn’t become an inconvenience for their daily life.“
- With thanks to the artist formerly known as j
This is the kind of thing the ICC is really meant for:
A Jordanian prosecutor on Tuesday charged Dutch politician Geert Wilders with blasphemy and contempt of Muslims for making an anti-Koran film and ordered him to stand trial in the kingdom, judicial sources said.Doing anything they can to suppress bad news at the cost of anything, including occasionally free speech. On the other hand a pressure group of concerned, caring European types show their colors:
In Riyadh, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a league of 56 Muslim nations, said it was "deeply annoyed" after Dutch prosecutors said on Monday they would not take action against Wilders as he was protected by the right to free speech.
"The decision ... encourages and supports the irresponsible defamatory style followed by some media outlets and instigates feelings of hatred, animosity and antipathy towards Muslims," the Saudi Arabia-based OIC, said in a statement.
Dutch prosecutors said Wilders was not inciting hatred of Muslims as he did not call for acts of violence against them.I’m sure they’re all about freedom of speech and liberties, ‘n stuff, given that they pushed for a different prosecution of Wilders in the Netherlands based partly on “statements made in public”. Next stop on the neo-fascist lefty love train: thought crimes. They have yet to explain to anyone how it is that the things other people say are somehow worse that the things they actually do.
A Dutch anti-discrimination group, The Netherlands Shows its Colours, said it would appeal the prosecutors' decision.
Friday, July 04, 2008
Seulement voilà, il lui aurait été plus facile d'être ministre des affaires étrangères dans la décennie 1990, cette fenêtre inespérée pour l'"ingérence", au Kurdistan, au Timor, au Kosovo. Au Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU, la Russie et la Chine protègent des dictateurs, birmans, soudanais et autres. Des nationalismes se sont soulevés. L'heure est aux résistances pugnaces contre l'imposition de normes par l'Occident, et au refus des interventions armées au nom des valeurs. L'Irak, l'Afghanistan sont passés par là. Il y a, convient Kouchner, "un retour de bâton".Sometimes, reality has a way of intruding…
…En juillet 2007, il reçoit son homologue tchèque, le prince Schwarzenberg, un proche de Vaclav Havel et grand militant de la cause des dissidents cubains. Le ministre tchèque lui expose sa vision de ce que devrait être la politique de l'Union européenne à Cuba. Soudain, Kouchner s'exclame : "Ah ! Fidel ! J'ai été ça, aussi !" Il partait dans ses souvenirs, dans son voyage à Cuba en 1964, quand il dînait avec Castro. "L'entretien s'est mal passé, ça partait dans tous les sens", relate un témoin.Unfortunately, it does not seem Bernard Kouchner can, or wants to, take hard, unpolitically-correct decisions.
…quand les rebelles ont attaqué N'Djamena, début février 2008, il n'était pas opposé à l'emploi de la force aérienne française. De Washington, la sous-secrétaire d'Etat américaine, Jendayi Frazer, appelait les Français à pulvériser les rebelles déboulant du Soudan : "Bomb them ! Kill them ! Do it !", lançait-elle. Nicolas Sarkozy opta pour une aide militaire en sous-main. Les partenaires européens avaient prévenu : une intervention militaire ouverte signerait la mort de l'Eufor.
"L'ingérence, ç'aurait été d'aller au Darfour, dit un diplomate spécialiste de l'Afrique, ç'aurait été, au moins, d'imposer une zone d'interdiction de survols (pour empêcher l'armée soudanaise de bombarder des civils). Mais ça, Kouchner n'a pas pu le faire. Le Darfour n'est pas suffisamment une priorité de la communauté internationale, au moment où on est pris avec l'Afghanistan. On est au Tchad car on n'est pas au Darfour."
Interrogé sur ce point, Kouchner se cabre : "Au Darfour, il y a de l'ingérence quand même ! Une résolution de l'ONU ! Sauf qu'on n'a pas réussi... Ils (les Soudanais) ne veulent pas de nos troupes. Je ne veux pas imposer des troupes européennes partout, ce serait de l'impérialisme."
Thursday, July 03, 2008
As for the chickenhawk charge, it is dissected here and described exactly for what it is: an attempt to curtail free speech —
notice how this position can be turned against the so-called peace camp. If only a soldier can speak for the war, then how can somebody who is not a soldier speak against the war? If it so happened that (a majority of) the soldiers in Iraq were/are against the war, then yes, the anti-war position might make sense... In other words, my point is, shouldn't we be asking ourselves (and shouldn't the "pacifists" be asking themselves) what the soldiers themselves are saying about the war?As Benjamin Duffy (a serviceman who, yes, did serve in Iraq) points out:
Military service is a prerequisite for supporting the war effort, whereas absolutely anyone can oppose it. If you have no military service, you can either agree with them or you can shut up. Forcing the other side to shut up is, in fact, the goal of the movement.To quote one of No Pasarán's readers:
If you accept the "chickenhawk" premise that you can't support the war and ask the troops to put themselves into harm's way unles you yourself enlist, there are a couple of corollaries that I think apply:(Be sure to read Penny's comment underneath…)
1. if your house is being broken into, and you are not a police officer, you may not call the police; you have no right to ask them to risk their lives when you yourself are not willing to to do so.
2. if your house is on fire, and you yourself are not a fireperson, you may not call the fire department. You have no right to ask them to risk their lives when you yourself are not willing to do so.
And here we can get a look at the gist behind all the comments here. They snicker, they snort, they bully, they insult, they ridicule, and it is quite obvious that they don't think that the opinions and comments by conservatives are worth much ink, space, thought, or debate. Unless I am mistaken, the gist of the comments betrays the attitude that conservatives should keep quiet and not be heard unless (or until the time) they agree with the liberals. Something like this, needless to say, is exactly what — on a much larger scale — we see in the mainstream media.
As the above list of liberal anti-war movies suggests — it is obviously far, far longer — the fact that there is one — one (!) — single movie that can be called conservative and/or pro-war is unbearable to them. That movie, too (and any like it), must be snorted about, pulled apart, maligned, and ridiculed.
And this brings us full circle to the other major topic of the Christopher Cook 300 post thread — the book Liberal Fascism — when Jonah Goldberg explains
how the liberal Gleichschaltung works; contrary voices are regulated, barred, banned when possible, mocked and marginalized when not, Progressive voices are encouraged, lionized, amplified — in the name of "diversity,'' or "liberation," or "unity," and, most of all, "progress."Let it be pointed out that Jonah Goldberg's book is not (and correct me if I am mistaken) a one-sentence screed of …sneering, name-calling, and ridicule, but over 400 pages filled with evidence for his thesis. Here are some more outtakes that illustrate this evidence:
Fascism, at its core, is the view that every nook and cranny of society should work together in spiritual union toward the same goals overseen by the state. "Everything in the State, nothing outside the State," is how Mussolini defined it. Mussolini coined the word "totalitarian" to describe not a tyrannical society but a humane one in which everyone is taken care of and contributes equally. It was an organic concept in which every class, every individual, was part of the larger whole. The militarization of society and politics was considered simply the best available means toward this end.
…In the liberal telling of America's story, there are only two perpetrators of official misdeeds: conservatives and "America" writ large. Progressives, or modern liberals, are never bigots or tyrants, but conservatives often are. For example, one will virtually never hear that the Palmer Raids, Prohibition, or American eugenics were thoroughly progressive phenomena. These are sins America itself must atone for.
Meanwhile, real or alleged "conservative" misdeeds — say, McCarthyism — are always the exclusive fault of conservatives and a sign of the policies they would repeat if given power. The only culpable mistake that liberals make is failing to fight "hard enough" for their principles. Liberals are never responsible for their historic misdeeds, because they feel no compulsion to defend the inherent goodness of America. Conservatives, meanwhile, not only take the blame for events not of their own making that they often worked the most assiduously against, but find themselves defending liberal misdeeds in order to defend America herself.
It’s quite obvious from her tone on Wednesday, that in her heart, that Bétancourt is happy to be free, not permanently imprisoned and chained to her misery as Serguei’s hope to find melodrama would suggest. In truth, some things just are, and there is no stock "better abstraction" to be trotted out for them. "Progressives" have a hard time dealing with this kind of thing, especially if it's good news because it isn't useful to them.
Worst still, Serguei grasps at some higher meaning than the best possible outcome to the situation, by suggesting that freedom is somehow imprisonment. I guess every other self-indulgent inversion of “whatever is the best you can hope for” applies too in his feeble world view, evan as it links to an article about Sarkozy praising the Columbian forces for their rescue. Want some meta-this-or-that or social meaning to decrypt, Serguei?:
The hostages, who had been divided in three groups, were taken to a rendezvous where two disguised helicopters piloted by Colombian military agents were waiting...Actually, she assumed by their t-shirts that they were clowns. Aptly so.
The pilots, [Betancourt] said, were posing as members of a relief organization, but “they were dressed like clowns,” wearing Che Guevara shirts, so she assumed they were rebels.
The BBC makes history. Every day. Note how something they never called ‘a crisis’ before suddenly becomes one, what with the fate of the FARC’s fate is in play, and that her freedom by having been ‘released’ appears numerous times, while there is one mention of her having been rescued appears near the top, but beneath the emotive headline, and only once and in lesser type.
Audacious rescueThe only question now, is how the Columbians can engineer the circumstances of the FARC’s surrender, while the title editors seem to be hoping for precisely the reverse.
What the freeing of Ingrid Betancourt means for Colombia's Farc rebels
But accuracy doesn’t really matter to them when there’s political spin to do. As for the nation that adopted Bétancourt as their patron saint, Ingrid’s “release” doesn’t matter to them anyway. The boys are looking for their own kind of “happy ending”.
To hell with Ingrid, les gars are just looking for some trim.
Frenchwoman: What Freed Ingrid Bétancourt Was Not President Uribe, But… "International Pressure" on President Uribe!
In the meantime, Béret Vert reports that Ingrid (who compares (08:55) Colombia's army to Israel's) is herself being compared to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King on French TV, while Uribe is barely mentioned…
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Listen to the journalists' astonishment (0:35, followed by applause) as defense minister Juan Manuel Santos announces that Ingrid Bétancourt is among those liberated…
A transit worker on the RER A line is assaulted. Colleagues of said victim inflict their sorrow on roughly 1 million commuters on Tuesday in a wildcat strike without consulting the politically manipulative trade union umbrella’s leadership at the CGT. Oddly enough this has the effect of caving in to crime. One perturbed branch of the suburban rail system disrupted the entire transit system which took most of the day to progressively back on line.
Probably bitter that they weren’t in charge of that little bit of social arson, someone from the CGT is quoted saying that the victim had it coming to them. They’ve also grown aware after 40 years that transit problems just make them look greedy and hateful. It seem that this gets them no brownie points from the “lumpenproletariat” that they think they commandeer.
"...she put herself in a position that made it totally predictable," said Yannick Le Bohec, CGT delegate to the RATP. He denounced the rising tensions between passengers and drivers in recent months which is due according to him, to "the degradation of service" on the RER A. "Passengers are transported in appalling conditions”, "he said. The CGT calls into question the decision to increase service on the line with 27 additional trains at peak times, instead of 24.That’s what they mean by “power to the people,” I guess. The unions over the years have realized that the population want the population to control the “means of production” and not the venal CGT.
"This assault is last straw," he summarized, after a meeting with the leadership of the RATP. The unions representing the strikers indicate that the discussions have not resulted in a compromise, leaving open the possibility of a new day of strikes Wednesday. "RATP will intensify the presence of teams of security officers to the end of the feast of Loges [until August 17], "she said, but unions have regretted that" the representatives only want to talk about personal safety."
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
From Marseilles, that multicultural success story of a city:
They owe their lives to a customer in a snack bar patron who kindly get them indoors until police arrive. Three Romany were lynched and their vehicles burned by a hundred people Saturday evening at Bricarde, a housing project in the 15th arrondissement of Marseille, the daily La Provence revealed on Tuesday morning. The police had to resort to tear gas. The three people assaulted were seriously injured and hospitalized. The scene is surreal for the three male victims who were the apparent victims of rumor. That was the weekend that was. Elsewhere: in France, they aren’t so kind as to call them trailer trash. People just assault them and leave them for dead.
Indeed, since the disappearance of a young woman named Fatima on May 7 in Marseilles, a text message was circulating in the city indicating that the young woman was allegedly kidnapped by Roma as part of an organ trafficking scheme. Since then, in school yard, public parks, and coffee counters, the rumor swelled. Authorities are submerged in calls by people worried about their children. And what should happen has happened with a Saturday night having been lynching-free.
Interviewed by LCI.fr, Pierre Carton, the departmental director for public safety, again denies "any child abduction and trafficking in human organs is currently going on Marseilles" and was concerned about the stigma around a community "who did nothing.
The gendarmes, accustomed to some grizzly scenes, did not recall seeing something this sordid in the Gironde in years. They found it difficult to believe their eyes on Saturday when they discovered the body of a young man beaten to death an disfigured. The victim had been abandoned on the edge of a forest, in a ditch near a road at a place called Cousseau in the town of Gours in Dordogne.You know how those slack-jawed hicks are: elsewhere on the crime beat, weapons found:
Weapons were discovered. After being abandoned in the woods, his torturers returned to celebrate, their clothes stained with blood.Further “Partying” Noted
But then they got worried and returned to the scene of the beating and decided to get rid of the body. They flagged down a Parisien and a 21 year old woman and went about a dozen kilometres. When they reached Gours, they took a country lane, and once out of sight abandoned the corpse wrapped in a blanket, and tried to undress. They then recovered the blunt instruments and the rifle that and threw them into the water.
It’s a worrying indicator of the trauma caused by a night of rioting. Since the June 14 incidents in Vitry-le-François (Marne), where groups of youths had destroyed some sixty cars and were taken in by police after the murder of one of their comrades killed in a brawl, people in the rushed to install security systems.Good luck with all that.
French probe military display that leaves 17 injured
CARCASSONNE, France (AFP) — France mounted an investigation Monday into why live rounds, rather than blanks, were used at a weekend visitors day display at a French military base, injuring 17 people, including a child in critical condition.
Fifteen civilians, including five children, and two soldiers were injured on Sunday when paratroopers demonstrated a hostage freeing exercise to visitors at their barracks outside the southwestern city of Carcassonne, regional officials said.
Four of the 17 were seriously injured, two critically, but doctors said early Monday that the condition of the worst injured had stabilised.
Hospitals in the southern cities and towns of Toulouse, Narbonne, Montpellier and Perpignan, as well as Carcassonne, were treating the injured.
One soldier, described as experienced with no history of behavioral or psychological problems, was detained following the incident.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was due to visit the injured in the hospitals in Carcassonne and Toulouse, his office said.
He said that "an experienced soldier" would not confuse blanks and real bullets, adding that the two munitions are packed into different-coloured magazines.
Earlier, Morin told journalists that safety measures had been respected and that the soldier who fired the live rounds had an exemplary record.And made his target, in a way.
Most critically injured was a man with wounds to his chest, he said.
Monday, June 30, 2008
How does MSNBC get to make insane assertions? They do it in plain sight. Behold the alarmist headline from that hideous never-healing “Post Katrina world” we live in:
Worms and parasites afflict the poorest in U.S.MSNBC need to alert the media! FIrsy you throw in a alarming SUB-heading too, while you’re at it:
Increased threat after Hurricane Katrinago into a recitation of how very, very awful the disease is:
Chagas disease, caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, infects as many as 8 to 11 million people in Latin America and may become a U.S. threat,Allusions to underdeveloped countries, managed only slightly better than one gripped by venal, lefty machine politics, and PRESTO!:
and a case of Chagas disease was recently reported in post-Katrina New Orleans," he wrote.THREE YEARS “post-Katrina”. It’s a miracle! It’s the hurricane that keeps on giving!
Bowdlerizing the reality of who they really are is a habit Europeans have had for some time. They lead the world to believe that there is some sort of magical supra-gentility and humanity found in the engineered ‘human systems’ that dominate everyday life. There is the notion that these “well-raised/educated/socialized” individuals are the elixir of this miracle, when in reality (for now) it’s feeding off the former habits of the family-centric nations they once were.
The social glue now is the loose collection of positive habits that are endangered but remain in a ‘bowling alone’ society like no other. The comparatively feeble state of enduring marriage and the number of sole children speaks to a social narrative that is leading into a desperately untrusting and lonely state. One whose only convenient and emotionally un-risky remedy is more of what used to be the realm of the individual or the family’s doing toward those of collective ‘human systems’. We find this in relying on hired-in expertise to raise children from the crèche to the employment office. Cooking the family mean has become take-away or par-prepared, and so forth. People are not better for it.
See any symptoms? Janet Levy points out the obvious to outsiders who don’t pay attention that nothing could be further from the truth, and that people quite primitively seek comfort from this in the “robust, socially unified seeming” past that never was for very long in Europe when it wasn’t also barbaric and diseased with broadly shared vile hatred:
In recent years, soccer crowds have gone so far as to simulate the hissing of Nazi gas chambers, pairing the sound with Nazi salutes. In Belgium, Muslim fans at a soccer match between Israel and Belgium shouted "Jews to the gas chambers" and "strangle the Jews," while waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags. Freed from the restraints of acceptable behavior, with inhibitions loosened by alcohol consumption and the intense camaraderie of team spirit, soccer fans freely unleash anti-Semitic slurs with abandon and without fear of retribution.First there were few siblings. Then there were few cousins. Then all they had for human warmth was a mob of one flavor or another to choose from, (social action/ sporting head-breaking /political head-breaking/ dangerous thrill-seeking...) making solitude and distance, if not emigration the only remaining reasonable option. That brave new world is on its’ way.
This alarming behavior prompts questions as to whether anti-Semitism is becoming acceptable again in a Europe that has forgotten its Nazi past, and whether guilt has been supplanted by denial. Is the era of Nazism being re-examined and re-framed in a more positive light that contributes to such gratuitous and ugly outbursts?
Two recent disturbing incidents appear to support this idea, raising legitimate concerns that Europe is indeed repainting its Nazi past.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Oh, those poor, misguided youts:
The night of the music festival, about 15 youths tore in to a family, and brought more friends with them. Five fished the night off in the emergency room.
It was a nasty free-for-all, said Adele, a woman in her 30s who had an eardrum perforated when she was hit. On Saturday, she and her husband decided to meet up with family and friends for the music festival. Around 11 p.m., five youths trading insults with two friends in front of the house on Blvd. de Cluis. It could have all stopped there, but it didn’t.
The gang of youths returned a little later with reinforcements – about 14 of them between the ages of 15 and 20. After tearing off the security shutters covering the door, they physically attacked the occupants. Trying to interrupt, a woman is thrown to the ground and kicked. During the scuffle, a little girl ends up with wounds from broken glass.
Hitting women is inhuman
In tears, the other other children watched from the window of there room where they were sheltering themselves. Five people – among them friends and family were taken to the emergency room. One will be in a cast, and the others have sores, bumps, and bruises.