Saturday, September 27, 2008

Therefore it MUST Always be About Hijacked Plane Attacks, You See...

Yet another mindless inversion of reality by Plantu. The Trade Center Towers are again being attacked by something American. Also found scattered through out his pieta of hatred is a flat image of Barack Obama who seems unfamiliar to him, but lets him channel some hypocrisy or another, a John McCain whose crime is being American, and a depiction of George Bush pitching a fit, something Plantu or any other observer has ever seen him do.

When is the Concept of an Overbearing Theocracy Okay?

When you're a western leftist, in Iran, but otherwise only when they can shove it doen your throat.

They said it could run afoul of state ethics laws banning on-the-job political activity, as well as university policy.
Could? Never mind the fact that it's a state university as well, and some of this chaplain's fellow travellers have bumper stickers asking "Who Would Jesus Kill".

- With thanks to alert reader Arf

His Heart May Be in the Right Place…
But His Head Ain't…

(Fist bump to Arf)

A weekend ponder

Why is it that one major hit of the skids in the US of a more capitalistic system immediately engenders howls of "capitalism is dead", "laissez-faire is over", "markets have failed" and "we need a new economic system, NOW!"?

Our more socialistic brothers and sisters have been on the skids for years, yet no vitriolic banshee calls for scrapping that system. If anything, calls for an even deeper version of socialism.

Why is that?

In a word, Next

While not 100 percent, the bug looks set to jump the Atlantique:

What is more, about $1.4 trillion of bank debt falls due in Europe this year and next, just as bondholders have received their first big blow of the crisis thanks to Lehman’s demise. Worries about how HBOS, a British bank, would roll over its wholesale obligations forced it into the arms of Lloyds TSB on September 17th. Other banks, notably in Spain, Iceland and Scandinavia, are even more dependent on the wholesale markets. The ECB plans to impose stricter conditions on its lending in February but that will be difficult while confidence remain so low. Mr Paulson may yet have some imitators across the pond.

Of course, Europe will do this without an underlying "real" economy to fall back upon and with the required assent of at least 15 (Eurozone) if not the full 27 member states in order to proceed on the scale required. That trick may make the process of the Democrats and Republicans look lightening fast and hyper-cordial. Juncker is no doubt loading up on the smokes.

Readers of this blog will note a sliver of a silver lining should this happen: Spain is experienceing high inflation, low productivity, and a housing bubble deflate. The Zapatero pip is set to squeak.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Russian State Agrees with SuperFrenchie: The Simpsons Are a Monstrously Scandalous Product

A Moscow court has decreed that the cartoons that a Russian TV channel is showing, such as South Park and the Simpsons, are subversive, writes Marie Jégo in Le Monde — thus (insofar as SuperFrenchy can be said to be representative of les Français) the Russians seem to agree with the French.
…le futur de [la chaîne] 2×2 semble compromis. "Il faut remplacer ces émissions sordides par des programmes éducatifs. Le respect des valeurs familiales, le goût du sport et le patriotisme, voilà ce que nous devons encourager chez les jeunes", a décrété mardi Pavel Zyrianov, 25 ans, député de la Douma.
It is good to know the kind of material that viewers in Russia and America should be barred from seeing…

Crimes in the Name of Honor and Tradition

Frédéric Bobin has a couple of articles in Le Monde about the tradition of killing or disfiguring women in certain parts of the world…

Statism 3:16

Always amusing when the statists pick up their Bible (that of the paleo-God variety) and start thumping away. Of course, in reality it is just another smug tool in the governmentalist tool-box to use in advancing the agenda.

One wonders if this parable will make it into the "official" canon once the whole story is written. From 1999:

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.


In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed that by the year 2001, 50 percent of Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's portfolio be made up of loans to low and moderate-income borrowers. Last year, 44 percent of the loans Fannie Mae purchased were from these groups.

Of course there was a voice in the wilderness who spoke up at the time, no doubt he was dragooned as a "neo-con":

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''

Perhaps this particular tale can be filed under "Warm destinations and the well-designed roads which help one get there".

The problem, folks, as John McCain and I and you all know, isn’t too little government interference in our financial markets. It’s too much

Laura Hollis writes An Open Letter to John McCain and Sarah Palin

Thursday, September 25, 2008

That Lecturesome Gravitas was always just Fluff Anyway

Behind the fake revolutionary fantasies that so many Germans carry around, it doesn't amount to much. Bragelina... the Baader-Meinhof Gang... same thing.

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex has been selected to be Germany's entry for best foreign language film at next year's academy awards ceremony. I guess they had to wait for the memory of films with discernable weight, like href=""target="_blank">Munich
to fade before they released it. Strange, isn't it that the old European memory problem just keeps coming up.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Dickensian Present and Its' New Fagans

No, it isn't the newest European concept of a sitcom, it's about as interesting as thier lives get right now. From RTL this past Friday:

These heinous acts took place last Monday in Brussels, rue Blaes, around 7 in the evening. A homeless man was grievously beaten up with by a Muslim father and son. The father started screaming at him that he had "no right to drink during Ramadan," before attacking him, then joined by his son who was guilty of the worst acts of violence.

Serge, the homeless man in question was actually in the process of drinking a beer.

Rashid's son, 21, was arrested and placed under arrest for assault and battery resulting in an inability to go to work, as the prosecution presented the facts. In explanation to the judge, both fanatics have explained that they feel their aggression was the self-defense! Meanwhile, Serge is still hospitalized with a sever wound in his leg that prevents him from walking. He lost 2 liters of blood and can not afford to rent crutches.
Unusual, you think? No way, Jose. That incredibly origonal notion that appeasing those who hate you will trickle down to the culture, that enlightened European act of trying to come together by trying to reason with the unreasonable while prone just isn't cutting the mustard:
Government-Appointed Kuwaiti Preacher: Europeans Are Immoral, Unclean, and Cowardly

The Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan recently published an article by its columnist Sheikh Nabil Al-'Awadhi, who is a government-appointed preacher at a Kuwaiti mosque and in the past had a television show called "An Hour of Sincerity" on Kuwaiti Al-Rai TV. In the article, titled "The Qualities of the European," Al-'Awadhi states that Europeans are disciplined and law-abiding only because they fear punishment; that they are unclean, since they "only wash when absolutely necessary"; and that they are selfish, cowardly and miserly. It should be noted that in August 2006, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowments suspended Al-'Awadhi from his post as preacher for three months, after he gave a Friday sermon inciting to jihad and calling for harming Jews.
Can you feel the love? Bill Whittle sure can:
A few years before Tolkien put pen to paper, an event took place that a man of his education would have undoubtedly been aware. On February 9th, 1933, the ruling elite of the world’s great Civilization held a debate in the Oxford Union. With thunderclouds growing dark across the English Channel, at a time when resolute action could still have averted the worst catastrophe the world has ever known, these elites resolved that “This House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country.”

The Resolution passed by a vote of 275 to 153. Needless to say, this vote did not avert the fight. It guaranteed it.
Count Serge among it's victims.

Popping Greenies, a continuation

Yes, shock horror, film at eleven and all that jazz. More green hypocrisy:
People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth.

According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim.
As Tim Worstall rightly points out:
If they really had the courage of their convictions they’d not be taking those long flights. The rest is just a fashion statement.

Were it only that the Roles were Reversed...

Europe's much trumpeted Large Hadron Collider is having some rather serious sounding problems.

The collider was officially launched on September 10 when the first particle beam was successfully sent around the full circuit. However, it hit a major glitch last week when a mechanical failure triggered a helium leak and forced a shutdown for what was initially reported to be at least two months.
Now it looks like the investigation and repairs won't be finished in time to restart the LHC before CERN's obligatory winter maintenance period, pushing the restart date back to early spring 2009, officials said.
Faulty wiring, mechanical failures.... Were the roles reversed, and the apparatus in the United States, the news would come to be met with little other than abuse and bloviated extended discourse plausiting theories about American science descending into mediocrity, cultural this and that, and huge amounts of concern feigning sincerity. On the other hand, we only know that it Beagled because it was presented to the public with too much flair to otherwise conceal, especially given that they commissioned a vapidly atmospheric and flattering musical theme by Blur and carried as part of its' payload a creation of hack stunt-artist Damian Hirst.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why Waste Your Energy on Something Real?

To hell with the global banking system. What matters to Europeans is the opportunity to ridicule.

From the left:

Expressing nostalgia for "the good old days when bankers jumped out of windows," Aeschimann condemned as "extortion" the rescue of U.S. corporate giants by the very state that free-marketeers resent.
Never mind a half century of collective unionized extortion that comes at the expense of the whole population, or the dirigisme of what they try to call Capitalism, underlying is a set of paranoid delusions and lack of memory. While the commentary on the BBC World Service and Radio 4 simplistically ask "is this the failure of capitalism", as if the same observers were intelligent enough to differentiate it from anything else, they forget that the COMECON satellites in the Soviet orbit experienced economic downturns all the time. What they couldn't do well at all was take advantage of the upturns in the economy enough to actually improve medical care, life prospects, or anything else to the degree one could in capitalist market environments or even the less efficient partially socialized areas.

And to the right:
"Greenspan was considered a master," Tremonti declared. "Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system. Until a few days ago, very few were willing to realize the intensity and the dramatic nature of the crisis."
Especially all of those people in the entire business press who have been writing about the potential of a banking crisis without quite knowing what shape it would take for the past 18 months.

But the purpose of the message is clear. If there is a downturn, in lieu of looking at the causes or measures to correct it, there has to be a straw man to blame. Enter the all purpose US. If it didn't exist, the euro-ass-clown commentariat would have invented it.
But fear accompanied gloating. The crisis threatens to worsen woes -- inflation, unemployment, weak growth -- of regional powerhouses including Britain, Spain and Italy. Joaquin Almunia, an ideologically moderate Spanish Socialist who is the European Union's economic commissioner, offered a simple analysis.
Deep wisdom there in that simple analysis. In fact that might be the only analysis you will get, after showing the same weaknesses in Europe for the past year that the US has shown. But let's not bother ourselves with anything like that, after all, the US'[ unemployment rate in a recession is still 2 points lower than Germany in what it liked to call its' recent boom.

No, when in doubt, you need the reflection of that great coterie of exhaulted experts that you can't seriously question, a junta of economic nattering such as the likes of those the LA Times sought out and found... And what greater expertise can you find than a cell-phone sales-lump:
"And I'm furious when I see the pictures of Americans who thought they were on the sunny side of life and now have lost their homes and have to live in their cars," Evers said. "I definitely do not feel sorry for the bankers who lost their jobs in the last couple of days. I can't believe that a country like the U.S.A. could have been so careless on a money issue!"

"I was taught that the U.S.A. is the motherland of moneymaking," she added. "And now all I can see is a herd of headless chickens running around on Wall Street."
This in a country where they completely banned short selling, so that no-one will ever be able to do anything is an asset starts to evaporate. There won't be any reason to run around like a headless chicken, nor will there be the opportunity to.

Of course they are serious

Kos opines, either disingenuously or he just missed the memo - I am thinking the latter, about the Democratic party in the US clamoring to bail-out their previously stated enemies on Wall Street:

Yet bizarrely, Democrats are rushing headlong into those boondoggle, flailing their arms in blind panic at the behest of the Bush Administration, all for a proposal that will dump a trillion dollar budget deficit on Obama's lap before he's spent a single dime on anything else.

The answer to "why?" the Democrats in congress are rushing headlong into this boondoggle is found in today's column from Tony Juniper (relevant emphasis added):

In the present crisis, however, there is a huge opportunity to do things differently, through governments taking control of the economy and by spending money – large amounts of it – to stimulate economic activity, cut our reliance on imported fossil fuels and slash climate-changing emissions. By spending now to build a low-carbon economy, we could generate a new army of highly skilled green-collar workers, building new power infrastructure, transport networks and super efficient buildings.
What the Democrats in general, and the statist left in particular, see in this crisis is opportunity. An opportunity to reach deeper and farther than ever thought possible into the money-making machine of the private sector. This is a chance to control private economic activity, steer business and commerce to the approved lefty groups (individuals, businesses, and of course ... NGOs), push the income equality mantra, push the green mantra, patronage, (insert your own socialist totem here).

Now, the left may not "get" all they want in this initial round of the big grab going on/planned. But, the nose will be under/in the tent. Others of Juniper's ilk are already circling the very same lamp-post and giving it a good scratch. The left smells the blood and they want their piece of the action. Do note, any "concessions" received by the left will come as they naturally do, no work/effort just bottom feeding on the misery (and taxes) of others.

Now, the folks on Wall Street have nobody but themselves to blame for being put into this position. If you cry "free people and free markets" and then run to the safety and comfort of the governmental teet once you hit the wall, tough luck. You want taxpayer monies to pull your bacon out of the fire, you get the joy of dealing with the politically machinated strings which come along with the cash.

Enjoy, the rest of us certainly will not be.

The scope of Obama's planned defense cuts, combined with his angry tone, is breathtaking; he sounds as if America's military is the enemy

Islamic terrorists have attacked a hotel and a U.S. embassy in the span of two weeks. Russia is invading American allies and sending warships to our hemisphere. What would Obama do? Gut the military.
Investor's Business Daily continues:
That's right, the Democrat choice for commander in chief wants to not only slash military spending but dismantle our nuclear arsenal — all so he can pay for his massive new welfare programs.

Didn't hear that in his acceptance speech in Denver? That's because he knows better than to make such an anti-military plan widely known. But he made the little-noticed pledge just before the Iowa caucus to a left-wing pacifist group that seeks to reallocate defense dollars to welfare programs. The lobbying group, Caucus for Priorities, was so impressed by Obama's anti-military offering that it steered its 10,000 devotees his way.

In a 132-word videotaped pledge … Obama agreed to hollow out the military by slashing conventional and nuclear weapons. The scope of his planned defense cuts, combined with his angry tone, is breathtaking. He sounds as if the military is the enemy, not the bad guys it's fighting.

Investor's Business Daily (which adds that "Palin's reception of Uribe is a far more serious statement than Obama's visits to the tourist spots of Europe that he chalked up as foreign policy experience") has the transcript…
Obama seems oblivious to the threat from Islamic extremism. During his 4,350-word acceptance speech in Denver, he couldn't summon enough spit even to utter the phrase a single time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting Their "Roots" Done

Jawa Report reveals just who we're talking about when the left talks about the realness of their "grass roots" campaigns being some sort of proletarian uprising against anything. It's fake, and it's fully employed to scurry around election rules and libel laws.

Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.
Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.

It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign.
As it is, his holiness the Obama is not the candidate of the post-anything age. He was down in Florida scaring old people, has twice the funding of the Republicans thanks to the corporate shakedown circuit in spite of presenting the illusion that he needs your $12 to oppose corporate America, and is sure to permit the engineering for further fake public dramas.
The YouTube poster who uploaded the video did so under the account name "eswinner". He names his channel "AGroupofConcernedAmericans". The goal of his channel, says "eswinner", is:

Offering a fair and unbiased view towards life and politics...
I try to give an unbiased account of all things American.
The video was uploaded four times under the "eswinner" account, using different titles for each video. The video was also uploaded to Google Video on the same day and with the same title.
That Picasa page of "eswinner" is used by an "Ethan" advertising on Craig's List that he will rent out his yacht to interested parties. But "Ethan" also leaves his e-mail account:
And just what is An alternate dns designation for Winner & Associates. A firm that employs one Ethan S. Winner.
Hundreds of pictures on the Picassa page belonging to "eswinner" show that the page belongs to the same Ethan S. Winner that is employed by the public relations firm of Winner & Associates. Other instances of an "eswinner" or "ewinner" posting on the internet are found sprinkled here and there. All of those postings seem to fit the profile of Ethan S. Winner and suggest that eswinner and Ethan Winner are one and the same.
Some might do this partly for love, and partly for money. More likely the love was a rationalization of the money.
Either way, the reasoning at some point that the skill to manipulate the public's views by going deep under the radar will eventually be rationalized into a ethic which permits one to think that taking care of numero uno is as important for the cause as the cause itself. Gotta be refreshed, right?
These people are professional guns for hire. Looking at their portfolio makes that clear. And they only work for big clients. The kind of clients that pay big bucks. The kind of people hired by Exxon to convince people that the effects of the Valdez spill were over. The kind of people hired to help push through oil fields in Chad and Cameroon or help companies respond to boycott threats over the Beijing Olympics.
The kind of people who would have an in-house attorney to handle PR for Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. And get them a movie deal.
Also the kind of people hired by the European Union to help sell the new EU treaty. Who was the lead in that effort? Ethan S. Winner.
Not bad for a guy outdoing Goebbels.

Here's my prediction. They will start borrowing from the Ségolène Royal imprint as best they can. About two weeks before election day, someone who doesn't seem too close to the Obama campaign will make a tacit threat to the public and make the suggestion that a Obama loss might lead to public unrest. Someone in the press will find a reason to play old tapes of the Rodney King riots with the implication of a narrative speciously spun around catchphrases like 'lack of national unity' and the usual instruments formerly used by revolutionaries when people actually pay attention when they would throw spaghetti at the wall.
And somehow the threat of violence will be painted over nicely. The subtext is to use an emotionally trained response from the past to pry open skepticism that people might have about their reasoned choices.
"Choosing Nicolas Sarkozy would be a dangerous choice," Royal told RTL radio.
"It is my responsibility today to alert people to the risk of (his) candidature with regards to the violence and brutality that would be unleashed in the country (if he won)," she said.
Pressed on whether there would be actual violence, Royal said: "I think so, I think so," referring specifically to France's volatile suburbs hit by widespread rioting in 2005.
The goal is to get the though through peoples' heads that a choice for what seems mainstream gets a negative stroke. Behold the BITE model at work using a conduit identified by every underperforming academic's hero, Marshall McCluhan decades ago – a time the left's world view seems to idolize and forever look back to.

They're Popping the Wrong Kind of Greenies

So do you really want to know what a hypocrite looks like?

The program, set up by the DNC Host Committee through the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau and rolled out about a week before the convention started, raised a total of $18.34 worth of Canary Tags, offsetting 0.9 tons of carbon emissions.
Remember, it's all because they (heart) the earth.

Trouble in Paradise

A nation weeps. All we can say is that all is not well in Jellystone Park.

Meanwhile, gathering more dust than attention, is this kind of Yada yada yada that comes up when a European concludes that discovering his own toe-cheese instantly rises to the level of a social injustice.

Gosh, who knew

While waiting for delivery of the daily bowl of gruel, one notices this:

A British government minister attacked Republican US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as "horrendous" at the Labour Party conference on Saturday.

The outburst from Communities Secretary Hazel Blears threatens to undermine Prime Minister Gordon Brown's determination for the British government to maintain a neutral position in the US presidential election.

Speaking at a fringe meeting of the centre-left party during its annual party conference in Manchester, Blears said Palin was capitalising on people's disillusionment with regular politics.

"I just think there is so much anti-politics -- not just in this country but around the world," Blears said.

"One of the reasons why Sarah Palin has been such a phenomenon is because she's anti-politics, anti-Washington.

"Her politics are horrendous, but actually she's struck a chord with people -- 'I'm a maverick, I'm not part of those powerful people' -- and people identified with that."

Gee, why do you think she has struck a chord? Gee, why do you think people have identified with that message? Gee, should the proles be interested in supporting candidates who only deepen our already deep disillusionment with "regular" politics?

Professional politicians have done such a fabulous job in both Westminster and Washington, as a voting and tax-paying class we really should be more grateful.

Poison Chalice

Working under the rules of business as ususal, this news is not of any particular interest:
Up to 10,000 staff at the New York office of the bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers will share a bonus pool set aside for them that is worth $2.5bn (£1.4bn)...
However, there is now a rather large problem at play. Given that the financial sector is set to lock on hard to the teets of various governmental schemes there is a new set of rules in place. It is one thing, and quite properly so, to let firms determine the pay and remuneration in a truly free-market system. But, when any firm or industry runs howling into the arms of governmental "care" the rules change. No longer are these firms using monies freely given and freely exchanged by the free market. Using governmental funds which are obtained via force from the taxpayer comes with quite very long and tangled strings.

Those claiming the financial markets have "failed" could not be any further from reality. The markets have in fact worked perfectly. The markets discovered these massive problems in the financial sector and acted swiftly and efficiently, as should be the case. Now that governmentalism is entering the market-place at a 90 degree angle, those involved will be playing by the hamstrung, inefficient, and political rules which marr reality on a daily basis.

Not only will the taxpayer be on the hoof for the billions directly related to the financial sector "help" being provided by governments, at least in the US the taxpayer will undoubtedly get to experience the extreme pleasure of paying for even more "social justice" ornaments being hung on the bail-out Christmas tree:
Still, competing interests were already complicating the negotiations, as Democrats pushed for assistance for distressed homeowners and for oversight authority of the bailout program.
US taxpayers should be giving a hearty thanks to the "smartest" guys in the room.

(Update: Start picking your poison)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A post about not too much

Do not doubt, 7.5 kilometers paved with good intentions. Courtesy of the leisure class:

More than 10,000 marched in the Swedish city of Malmoe on Saturday in a demonstration against the excesses of globalisation, organised as part of the European Social Forum being held there.

The marchers, many carrying banners, set off from the suburb of Rosengaard at 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) accompanied by several marching bands, in what was one of the biggest organised in Sweden.

"We are all here because we have a common message," Thor Rutgersson, a 25-year-old teacher told AFP.

"We want better conditions for workers, for students and more cooperation to fight poverty in Europe," he added.

The march included delegations from all over Europe, including trade unionists and students.

"It is important that the countries from eastern Europe are here today," said Piotr Ostrowsky of the Polish confederation of trade unions, the OPZZ.

Saturday's march extended 7.5 kilometres (nearly five miles) and finished in the city centre without incident. A large police presence had been on stand-by on the fringes of the route.

On Friday, about 100 people threw rocks at police and broke windows in the city centre at the tail end of a demonstration organised by a group called Reclaim the Streets, which had attracted some 700 participants.

The fifth European Social Forum began Thursday and wraps up on Sunday.