Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cue the Accordions

Pépé Le Pen Godfather to Dieudonné’s Newborn Daughter
Horse head in the bed to follow

Humorist Dieudonné has had his fourth child baptized last Friday in Bordeaux by a traditionalist bishop in the presence of Jean-Marie Le Pen, according to a website close to the Front National and Liberation.

The site "Nation Presse hebdo" [Nation Press Weekly] said that the president of the National Front is the godfather of the youngest of four children of Dieudonné.

"It could have been a fairly ordinary baptism if the godfather of the girl had been anyone other than the President of the National Front, Jean-Marie le Pen," he wrote.

Reached by telephone on Wednesday, an FN official refused to comment, stressing that it is "a private matter." Abbé Philippe Laguérie, a traditionalist known for its links with the extreme right, presided. According to "Nation Presse hebdo", information has been confirmed by the abbot."

The rapprochement of Dieudonné with the FN had started on November 11, 2006, when he participated in the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge festival at Le Bourget, near Paris.

The comedian had clarified a few days later he did not vote FN, but he did not "not to vote FN." A month later, leaders of the far-right party had attended a show by the comedian.
Think about it, it’s a win-win PR stunt for both of these psychos, and it only comes at the expense of a child’s dignity for the rest of her life. The press, giddy with excitement, did leave out a minor detail, of course.
Can you confirm being the godfather of Dieudonné’s 4th child, as reported by Libération on Wednesday morning?

"Yes, I confirm. But contrary to what was reported by Libération, I'm the godfather of the third child of Dieudonne, not the fourth. The rest is true: it went well at a ceremony in the Bordeaux last week. It went well in the traditionalist parish of Saint-Eloi. The baptism was celebrated by Father Philippe Laguérie."

"I didn’t have any interest in talking about it publicly. It is a fact of privacy. I'm not like Sarkozy: I do not feel obliged to stage my privacy."

What is the nature of your relationship with Dieudonné?
"It was Dieudonné who asked me to become the godfather of one of his children because he thinks that this is not incompatible with the meaning of life and honor."

"I have esteem for Dieudonné. We are closer because we have things in common. We all belong both to the 'community of outcasts’. In addition, we’re both from Brittany: he’s 50% Breton, and I’m 100%. This is what created the link between us."

Have you asked Dieudonné to join the FN?
"No, he can join is he wishes, though."
The only question is: who’s legitimizing who?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Want to Know What Torture Is Really Like, New York Times?

It's in your own pages
[The Iranian's] alienation began at age 9, when he witnessed a deadly stoning. Though forbidden by his mother, he slipped out of the house to see the commotion near his school. He saw a man, accused of adultery, buried to the waist, his head covered with a sack that turned red as Revolutionary Guards hurled chunks of concrete. … Years later, he would witness public hangings and dismemberments.

…At the University of Tehran in the mid-1990s, [Ahmed Batebi] joined in student protests, getting arrested three times. … Mr. Batebi described 17 months in solitary confinement … His jailers thrashed him with a metal cable, beating his testicles and kicked in his teet, he said. They held his face down in a pool of excrement. They tied his arms behind his back and hung him from the ceiling. At other times, strapping him to a chair, they kept him awake night after night, cutting him and rubbing salt into the wounds. … They tied his arms behind his back and hung him from the ceiling. At other times, strapping him to a chair, they kept him awake night after night, cutting him and rubbing salt into the wounds.

"Well, let them go f*ck themselves! The Lithuanians!? Do you know any Lithuanians?! I never met one of them in my life!"

Arnaud Leparmentier et Marion Van Renterghem reveal what the French really think of their fellow members in the European brotherhood, certainly when those Eastern Europeans have the gall not to agree with the French (remember Chirac's "They have missed an opportunity to shut up"?)…

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Alle Menschen Werden Brüder

In their usual gentle and culturally superior manner, Europeans know how to party and contemplatively celebrate their patriotism.

The July 14 festivities were glazed many incidents, including in Ile-de-France. On Monday night, 295 cars were set ablaze in the country bringing to nearly 600 the number of vehicles damaged in two days.

As with the previous night, the night of the 14th gave rise to numerous incidents and many skirmishes between youths and police. 295 vehicles were burned in France, including 150 in Ile-de-France and 145 elsewhere in the country. The figures for the previous night showed 297 cars were torched.

In two days, nearly 600 vehicles were burned and a total of 219 people were arrested.

The national secretary of the PS
[Socialist Party], Bruno Leroux, has accused the Interior Ministry yesterday of trying to obscure the figures on the violence committed on Saturday night, especially in Seine-Saint-Denis. That was a false charge against the Interior Ministry, which confirmed these figures and also recorded a 20% drop in car torching incidents for the first six months of the year compared to 2007. In addition, the ministry announced its intention to tighten legislation on the sale of fireworks after a police commissioner was very seriously injured in the eye by one in clashes between youths and Police in Asnières (Hauts-de-Seine).
Primitives that we are, Americans have yet to develop a taste for carbeque on their national day.


The FARC's Swiss Dupe gets even weirder, now that we get to see the paper trail:

Switzerland’s Colombia policy is suffering one blow after another. A few days after the liberation of Ingrid Betancourt, the Colombian President Uribe officially withdrew Switzerland’s mandate to conduct negotiations. On Tuesday, things escalated still further: Bogotá announced that it was opening a criminal investigation into the activities of Swiss envoy Jean-Pierre Gontard. The crime: "concierto para delinquir" - membership in a criminal association. According to the Colombian district attorney, there is evidence that Gontard led a conspiracy or participated in one.
It's damning stuff, and the “sophisticated” Swiss were such bozos that they couldn't figure out what the FARC's “Foreign Minister” was doing right under their noses, and with their money.
According to Minister of Defense Juan Manuel Santos, e-mails found on the computer of the killed FARC commander Raúl Reyes suggest that Gontard delivered some $500,000 to the Marxist guerilla in 2001. In so doing, the Swiss envoy would have overstepped his function as "mediator."

As is so often the case when she is confronted by serious criticism, the head of the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), Michéline Calmy-Rey, has maintained an eloquent silence ever since the crisis with Colombia began. But she has dispatched her underlings before the press, in order roundly to deny all the accusations. M. Gontard "never delivered ransom payments," the EDA announced.
Why talk to them at all? Why dispatch funds? Why deny that you pay ransom?
Colombian authorities suspect that the half a million dollars was part of the ransom money with which the pharmaceutical firm Novartis purchased the freedom of two of its employees who had been taken hostage. They accuse Gontard of having personally delivered the cash.

The King of French comedy

Dieudonné has a new show. After trying it out on Montreal audiences, who were rolling in the aisles with the standard anti-Semitic and anti-American fare, he's bringing the show to Paris. After posing as a Nazi during a wave of Jew bashing in Paris streets (yes, Jews were being bashed, literally), he's now taken to wearing terrorist garb to promote his latest show.

Note that Dieudonné's production company has purchased the theatre where his Paris shows are held and he plays to standing-room-only audiences. French youth cannot give up enough of their hard earned cash drug money to see this guy.


Midnight Blue over the Land of 10,000 Lakes

Skye will be at the Republican National Convention in the North Star State this summer as an official accredited blog

Revolution through Administrative Inaction

Think anyone noticed?

A seemingly innocuous judicial ruling introduced the right to polygamy in Belgian law. On 26 June, the Constitutional Court amended the law of 15 December 1980, and thus prohibited discrimination against children from polygamous families.

A circular noting the change sent to embassies and consulates in Belgium said that children "are not responsible for the marital status of their parents." But an oversight of the Court gives a completely different flavor to the text. "On the last page, the Court deletes text from Article 10 regarding the exclusion of spouses in a polygamous marriage," said Freddy Roosemont, Director-General of the Foreign Residents Office.

The new law stipulates that "the spouse of a foreigner whose polygamous relationship with another spouse already residing in Belgium can not be unrecognized. It permits polygamy.
And the sheep will soon tremble.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Might Europeans Perhaps Go So Far as to Wring Their Hands?

Doubtful. By the time they’re done navel gazing, there wont even be a régime be bananes left.


In the case of the Swiss Foreign Ministry ant the FARC, the European notion of “constructive engagement” promoted the FARC’s narco-smuggling, kidnapping, and terror. Switzerland’s Weltwoche [the world this week], reports on an initial effort to “reel them in” and legitimize the FARC that led to actively supporting their actions.

Switzerland, the Helpful Courier

The seizure of the computers provoked a political earthquake. What had long been merely suspected was now out in the open for all to see: the socialist governments of Ecuador and Nicaragua, as well as and above all that of the Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chávez, were involved up to the elbows in the sinister drug and arms dealing of the FARC. The blow was struck just as Chávez, intent on extending his influence across the South American continent, was seeking to take control of the militarily severely depleted FARC.
It might be that the world still see the Swiss with rose colored glasses given the image and reputation they’ve built, but what is far more likely is that outside of commerce, they have no meaningful stake in the goings-on beyond the European fortress, and are a lot more scared by their position as Europe’s Lesotho puts them in.
Switzerland has played a central role in the Colombian hostage crisis as a supposedly “neutral” mediator. But the e-mail correspondence of the FARC, extracts from which are available to Die Weltwoche, shows that a solution of the hostage crisis was never in fact a priority for the FARC. The “negotiations” as such, which provided an international stage for the militarily beleaguered guerilla, were from the start an end in themselves for the FARC. The Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (EDA), under the direction of Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, took on the role of helpful courier in the cynical game of poker being played by the guerilla and often neglected to take even the slightest distance from the FARC extortionists.

As early as June 2001, almost a year before the kidnapping of Betancourt, Lucas Gualdrón, the Lausanne-based FARC coordinator for Europe, assessed the possibility of Switzerland playing a role as mediator. In an e-mail to a superior stationed in Cuba, Gualdrón comes to a positive conclusion: “They [the Swiss] have changed their communication policy and they no longer only work low profile, but also pursue a very aggressive communication policy.” Switzerland is open to the FARC’s cause, Gualdrón reports, and ready to organize meetings “at the highest level.”
In addition to that, these supposedly shrewd Swiss interlocutors were made into useful idiots.
Prolonging the Hostage Crisis

From the standpoint of the FARC, Switzerland has served its purpose and can leave now. In summer 2007, the EDA withdraws from the negotiations. The Venezuelan caudillo Hugo Chávez takes over. His aims are by no means humanitarian in nature, as Chávez wants to make the world believe. The correspondence on Reyes’s computer shows that the Venezuelan president promises the FARC substantial arms shipments and financial aid on the order of some $300 million. Hugo Chávez wants to integrate the guerilla force into his “Bolivarian Revolution,” which is supposed to transform the entire subcontinent from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego into one big socialist paradise according to the well-known recipes of Karl Marx and Fidel Castro.
Instead of “giving peace a chance”, what they did was gullibly buy the FARC more time.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cops Lazy in the Unhinged Kingdom

'He then stood up, put his hands in the air and said, "I've just murdered two people, I've got third degree f***ing burns and they are not even f***ing arresting me."
'Me and my cousin looked at one another and I said, "What did you do?" Then he said, "I've just told them I've killed two people in New Cross and they are not even f***ing arresting me.'''
Not only did the perpetrator of a brutal double murder get a chance to change his mind when he was about to confess, but no longer will burglary get one you thrown into the crowbar hotel.

“Property is theft”, and all that. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire retired population moved to Spain or Arizona by winter.

Good-Bye, Friend

I listened to Tony Snow at CPAC in February and thought him to be — at an event at which all Republican candidates showed up to speak — one of the three best speakers among the whole lot of them. (The two others? Newt Gingrich and — yes — George W Bush…) He was so good and got members of the audience so excited (at least, listen to his speech between 41:18 and 41:50) that some of them told him to run for president in his own right…

So how's that Lisbon 2010 thing workin' for you all?

European economy blown apart like a cheap toy. The US economy has creative destruction. Europe's only has destruction.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Let them eat Tastykakes!"

Bastille Day in Philadelphia

They always did a good job playing angry peasants.

Funny, I’ve Seen a Lot of Cases

Anyone who has worked in an a bar or hospital emergency room will tell you that you never know what will come through the door. Andrew Bolt makes that abundantly clear:

Psychiatrists have detected the first case of "climate change delusion" - and they haven't even yet got to Kevin Rudd and his global warming guru.
Writing in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Joshua Wolf and Robert Salo of our Royal Children's Hospital say this delusion was a "previously unreported phenomenon".
"A 17-year-old man was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne with an eight-month history of depressed mood . . . He also . . . had visions of apocalyptic events."
Green is indeed the new bleak, and this desire to kick the legs out from under civilization is ubiquitous, as Bret Stephens pointed out this week in the Wall Street Journal noting in the number of ways Global Warming science, now called “Climate Change” science in a desperate bit to give it credibility might – just might – suffer from the same uncertainty and politically induced corruption that theories suffer from when they get big-game-prize money attached to them. A parasitic casts emerges and makes itself out to be a priestly class to benefit off of it, much like Charles Manson, using the impressionable young and the intellectually weak and wayward as a victimized flock. Free to wrap their limit their philosophical exploration to doom, self abuse and little else, it’s hard to imagine a Thomas Aquinas or Augustine emerging from it, nor do they want anything more elaborate than the repetitive pinning of the voodoo doll:
If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn't evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn't mean God doesn't exist, or that global warming isn't happening. It does mean it isn't science.
So let's stop fussing about the interpretation of ice core samples from the South Pole and temperature readings in the troposphere. The real place where discussions of global warming belong is in the realm of belief, and particularly the motives for belief. I see three mutually compatible explanations.
The first is as a vehicle of ideological convenience. Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. Take just about any other discredited leftist nostrum of yore – population control, higher taxes, a vast new regulatory regime, global economic redistribution, an enhanced role for the United Nations – and global warming provides a justification. One wonders what the left would make of a scientific "consensus" warning that some looming environmental crisis could only be averted if every college-educated woman bore six children: Thumbs to "patriarchal" science; curtains to the species.
A second explanation is theological. Surely it is no accident that the principal catastrophe predicted by global warming alarmists is diluvian in nature. Surely it is not a coincidence that modern-day environmentalists are awfully biblical in their critique of the depredations of modern society: "And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." That's Genesis, but it sounds like Jim Hansen.
And surely it is in keeping with this essentially religious outlook that the "solutions" chiefly offered to global warming involve radical changes to personal behavior, all of them with an ascetic, virtue-centric bent: drive less, buy less, walk lightly upon the earth and so on. A light carbon footprint has become the 21st-century equivalent of sexual abstinence.
Can you feel the love there? The hand-wringing, the concern for out mother earth on the way to a universally poor, unhealthy, and short life where all we burdensome inhabitants of the planet earth can be both equal and the same? Pfft!

The Best Rendition of La Marseillaise from Casablanca...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Constructive Optimist Bewilders Sour Grapes

Deep in the heart of the arrogant soul of a developing world aristocratic normally lies an irrational viciousness that’s hard to understand. Normally, we’re talking about intelligent achievers, but frequently ones finds beneath it comfortably out of touch prince who confuses hate for edginess.

Take for example a senior Indian diplomat asked to sum up the impact of the Bush years on south Asia. No matter the achievements, it’s either inadequate, or in violation of the newly improvised theory of the-only-thing-that-now-matters:

Rice said the US's "strategic accomplishments in Asia" also included "partnerships with a newly democratic Afghanistan, a democratic Pakistan, and an historic transformation of our relationship with the rising democratic power, India". But the bulk of her speech related to North Korea problem, underlining Washington's expectation Pyongyang will soon make a "verifiable, complete and accurate" declaration of its nuclear programs, facilities and materials so that Bush claims a legacy.

As Bush heads toward Japan for the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Hokkaido, he anticipates he's likely wrapping up two Asian legacies - and if luck holds, three. Beware the lame duck. As the Washington Post summed up, "George W Bush's presidency seems exhausted and irrelevant, but that's a dangerous illusion. The Decider remains in command ..." Clearly, North Korea has begun disabling its plutonium production facility at Yongbyon under the watchful eyes of US inspectors. Rice's consultations in Beijing last week galvanized the process. The White House announced that Bush proposed to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Summer Olympic Games in August.

Meanwhile, a second Asian legacy for the Bush era is also gaining traction. On Wednesday, on the sidelines of the G-8, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inform Bush that New Delhi has decided to give the final push to the civilian nuclear cooperation agreement with the US. The Indian deal goes way beyond Kim Jong-iI's "denuclearization". It is a major non-proliferation move. India will surrender its right to test nuclear weapons; India's nuclear program will come under US monitoring and control; and India's capacity and will for augmenting its weapon stockpile will remain under US scrutiny.
Bitterly, of course it MUST come down to something. Something where the author/his theory/his land/etc. mutates into the great cotter pin in the great axle in the great wheel of humanity... even if it’s something entirely invented:
The big question now is whether Bush's gargantuan appetite for Asian legacies will be satiated.
Does anyone have a gargantuan craving for an Asian legacy?

See? They matter! They Really matter, dammit! Even if it’s slightly cracked to think that Bush personally covets some sort of legacy that’s theirs! Their’s dammit!

Take that nap, M.K. You might feel better in a few hours.

A Title (Mis)Match

For the past two weeks the story has been making the rounds. Johns Hopkins Majid Khadduri professor of Middle East studies at the School for Advanced International Studies
Fouad Ajami
writing in the Wall Street Journals Opinion pages offers a recitation of the timbre of the traditional hatred floating around between Europe and the Near East. The title given is “Anti-Americanism Is Mostly Hype“, but seems to end up being betrayed by selectively deciding the bombings of the 80’s and 90’s being little other than hype, not to mention the Hizballah’s debutante party on Marines stationed in Beirut as part of an Palestinian-Israeli cease fire, the holding of American diplomats as hostages in Teheran, and so forth.

I grew up in the Arab world in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and anti-Americanism was the standard political language – even for those pining for American visas and green cards. Precious few took this seriously. The attraction to the glamorous, distant society was too strong in the Beirut of my boyhood.
It is no different today in Egypt or Pakistan. And what people tell pollsters who turn up in their midst with their clipboards? In Hosni Mubarak's tyranny, anti-Americanism is the permissible safety valve for Egyptians unable to speak of their despot. We stand between Pharaoh and his frustrated people, and the Egyptians railing against America are giving voice to the disappointment that runs through their life and culture. Scapegoating and anti-Americanism are a substitute for a sober assessment of what ails that old, burdened country.
This happens to be rather at odds of the Beirut of my childhood, where being apparently “Imriki,” and not Lebanese in ones’ American-ness made one a hostage-taker’s commodity. For all you youngsters out there: it was not a status symbol.

With the tone of “see!” I’ve received this article from people of numerous ideological appeals, it seems to have become something of thing that is either all things to all people, when in fact it offers the most inscrutable thing to those lacking healthy skepticism: a handful of data points. That it helps prop up a theory is one thing, that it shows us patterns that will remain in force for a century to come is another: a fundamental lack of seriousness in those carrying that anger around.

Nor should we listen too closely to the anti-American hysteria that now grips Turkey. That country was once a serious, earnest land. It knew its place in the world as a bridge between Europe and Islam. But of late it has become the "torn country" that the celebrated political scientist Samuel Huntington said it was, its very identity fought over between the old Kemalist elites and the new Islamists.
Imagine the self-evasion associated with looking for evil under every sack of American corn meal, and what this means to the risk it exposes the emoting “victim” of this malady of the concrete risks to their lives, and to the detriment it does to the prospect of looking at ones’ own society honestly.

That we are to minimize the weight given to the impact Anti-Americanism has is an evasion in itself. If it IS just a metaphor for those who can’t “discuss the Pharaoh,” and it remains that way for the next 50 years as it has for the past 50 years, then it’s indicative of a much larger problem than even those hesitating to minimize the use of anti-Americanism as a verbal magic wand can imagine.

Further, he notes:
He said he feared that Mr. Obama, as a "black man," might succumb to an "inferiority complex" if he were to come to power. "This is a great menace because Obama might turn out to be more white than the whites, exaggerating his persecution and disdain of blacks. The statements of our Kenyan brother with an American nationality about Jerusalem, and his support for Israelis, and his slighting of the Palestinian people is either a measure of his ignorance of international politics or a lie perpetrated on the Jews in the course of an election campaign."
There is no need to roam distant lands in search of indictments of America's ways. Tales of our demise appear every day in our media. Yes, it is not perfect, this republic of ours. But the possibilities for emancipation and self-improvement it affords are unmatched in other lands.
But this is meaningless in the context of America’s future, or even the future of the anti-American at that. It is simply a truth, but one that may not cause anti-Americanism as some would fear, nor endear America to those given to resentment.

It simply ‘is’ while the risk to America is not in it’s image, it’s the concrete risks identified on the left as “the amount of time we must remain in the dar ul harb, and by the right that the concept of the dar ul harb still exists in the zeitgeist at all. Either way, a beloved or hated America, as Ajami cites the lack of seriousness found among those who hate it, still has to debate whether or not we are America Alone.

Image, as Ajami points out by example, isn’t everything. But risk and interest have very little to do with image. The European Union should take this as an object lesson, since that very same concern with their image seems rather consuming, and consuming at the expense of their effectiveness in creating any sort of instrument of statecraft at all.

- Cross-posted on Atlantic Review