Saturday, February 07, 2009

How Dare Anyone Imply Our (Anti-)Hero Was a Jealous Man?!

France's pacifists are in a rage; the character of one of their trademark snickering, holier-than-thou pacifists ™ has been dented in a book by a fellow singer, Pierre Perret (right).

The late Georges Brassens — called
le DIVIN MOUSTACHU by one typical fan — was a typical anarchist whose songs typically celebrated nihilism, anti-militarism, sleeping with other men's wives, etc, etc, etc… (A typical hero, needless to say, in today's French society…) He might have been nihilistic and a run-down chain-smoker — as well as someone snickering about hero worship (or traditional hero worship) while claiming to be laid-back and past all that sort of things — but how dare you say that Brassens (Brassens, for God's sake!) was jealous!?!

Aux yeux des aficionados du Sétois [Georges Brassens], il [Pierre Perret] a commis un crime de lèse-majesté. … Dès la parution d'A cappella, les "brassensophiles" se mobilisent. Fondateur de l'association Auprès de son arbre, basée dans le Lot-et-Garonne, Pierre Schuller monte au créneau. Auprès de son arbre entend défendre l'oeuvre de Brassens sur tous les fronts : festivals, livres, conférences et concerts, avec l'artiste maison, Jacques Nunoz. Autre épicentre du mécontentement, Les Amis de Georges, une revue bimestrielle, un site, dirigés par un exégète intelligent et passionné, Jean-Paul Sermonte.

Dans un éditorial du 25 novembre 2007, Sermonte s'inquiète de l'image de Brassens véhiculée par Pierre Perret : "Tous les témoignages concordent : il n'était pas dans la nature de Georges d'être jaloux. Sophie Duvernoy, sa gouvernante pendant près de quinze ans, a, elle aussi, été scandalisée par ce discours."

C'est sur le forum de discussion des Amis de Brassens que les choses s'enveniment.

Why the future is good

For those old fuddy-duddies who see scientific ideas as something which should be provable and repeatable:

"Don't worry," says the MIT assistant professor and a 2008 MacArthur genius-grant winner, Marin Soljacic (pronounced SOLE-ya-cheech), who designed the box he's about to turn on. "You will be OK."

We both shift our gaze to an unplugged Toshiba television set sitting 5 feet away on a folding table. He's got to be kidding: There is no power cord attached to it. It's off. Dark. Silent. "You ready?" he asks.

If Soljacic is correct -- if his free-range electrons can power up this untethered TV from across a room -- he will have performed a feat of physics so subtle and so profound it could change the world. It could also make him a billionaire. I hold my breath and cover my crotch. Soljacic flips the switch.
Keep reading to see how it turns out. Furthering the argument that man, technology and innovation will surmount and/or tame those things in the future which might pose a problem.


Leftists slobbering over Obama looking for a some kind of international superior-wisdom cred need look no further – than their own rubbish PR and that of the press fawning over them.

Adloyada points out that this great Obamian act of fist unclenching and divine illumination was set up well a year ago under dark lord Bush, eater of babies and former head chimpie. Beside that, it get harder to find a cred at all knowing how the far left get all romantic when it comes to fisting.

What do you know? It seems it's a women's badminton team which is going to be sent out to engage the good people of Iran. Is this a masterstroke, a superb bit of cultural finessing by Obama, in which he sidesteps potential accusations of sexist sports orientation by showing that both US and Iranian women can excel in the most macho of court sports?

Oh, but hang on. The story tells us that this initiative hasn't come from Obama at all.

In fact, it was the result of an invitation from the Iranians.

So is this the first sign that they are after all prepared to extend a hand instead of a fist in this new process of engagement instead of confrontation?

Er, probably not. Because what's clear is that these exchanges have been going on since January 2007. That's right, since deep into the presidency of-- George W. Bush, the supposed pariah of the old politics which Obama Is going to sweep away with Change We Can All Believe In.
Without reservation, I recommend reading her blog daily.

Listen, you lunatics, does it really have to be explained to you, yet again, how America got into this whole bailout mess in the first place?

Listen, you lunatics, does it really have to be explained to you, yet again, how America got into this whole bailout mess in the first place?
asks Rachel Marsden.
It started with the Carter/Clinton Democratic administrations mucking around in the home buyers market to favor minorities. Then it proceeded to tinkering with the auto manufacturers, forcing them to make cars that no one wants to buy and exporting them against massive foreign tariffs.

So now the solution, in the minds of these geniuses, is to solve Keynesianism with more protectionism?

In times of crisis in France's Socialist Paradise, Parisians take to scavenging

If RV is to be believed, this "French Socialist Paradise"
is the kind of society 52% of American voters choose…

Get Some Couth, Already

Fantasy Fascism Fan and boxing ring tomato and former Commie Fantasy Fascist Alain Soral is having a hissy-fit with the National Front. As with all political parties and discourse in France, the most sophisticated thing they can think of calling one another is “dirty jew” and “Nazi”. In the case of Soral and the nitwits around him, incongruously calling Marine Le Pen both at the same time.

Brussels Journal’s Tiberge has more: ”The Front National Disintegrates” - and not a moment too soon as far as I’m concerned. They might be indentified as the right because the left hates them, but they really aren’t conservatives as anyone with an intellect understands it. They tend toward authoritarianism as much as the left does, giving it a cultural tinge of “family values” as the left does, and have an economic theory called nationalist protectionism which involves a lot state-ownership, dirigisme, and putting a wall around what they would quickly turn into petit pays de merde, just as the left would.

Oddly enough, the only one among them who has a shred of couth in all of this is the mare they’re all beating to death: Marine Le Pen who is carrying on the political franchise her father built on the discontent with the culture of venality and promotional posturing that Soral is crash-testing right now.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Looking down the barrel of a gun

Can anyone remind as to when that second Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty is to take place:

The country’s trade union leaders will meet in the coming weeks to decide whether they will follow French trade unionists and organize strikes.

David Begg, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions general, warned of a “revolution” from lower-paid public workers.

Already there are signs of social unrest in a country where the morale of the people, according to Enda Kenny, leader of the main opposition party Fine Gael, is “at a historic low.”

Teachers, pensioners and students have staged separate protests at government cutbacks in recent months. Meanwhile, hundreds of workers at bankrupt Waterford Crystal are in the fifth day of a sit-in at the plant in Waterford to protest the layoffs of 480 employees and the loss of their pension entitlements.

“The finest thing I have ever seen or hope to see this side of heaven”

(Thanks to Greerwyn)

Le Monde Manages to Report on Iraq's Elections Without Once Mentioning the Name of the Man Who Made Them Possible

France's newspaper of reference manages to write an editorial — as well as a number of articles — about the Iraqi elections without once mentioning the name of George W. Bush.

Le Monde Readers Start Praising Russia for Attempting to Oust the U.S. From Central Asia

Peut-on en vouloir aux russes … ? (bof)

Peut-on leur en vouloir? (Maria+Laach)

Peut-on les condamner ? (Jean-François, André N.)
So far, most of the reactions of Le Monde readers are not only understanding of the Russians but seem to praise the fact that the Kremlin is trying to remove Central Asia from the American zone of influence (not one of them asking, naturally, what foreign presence the average Central Asian citizen would prefer). Of course, one could say that there are not enough comments yet for this article to make too much of a generalized conclusion — except, of course, that no matter what their number is, they only confirm patterns seen in the past.
Les Russes montrent tout simplement que l'Asie centrale ne peut pas basculer dans la zone d'influence américaine. Je m'en félicite. (Gilles T)

Update: Ismail Kadare writes
on est en droit de s'étonner de l'approbation implicite d'une telle nostalgie par certains commentateurs. « Nous devons comprendre pourquoi les Russes sont nostalgiques », écrivent-ils. Ils devraient plutôt dire : « Nous ne parvenons pas à comprendre cette nostalgie de la Russie dont personne n'a besoin. »

Is France Becoming a Police State?

Common French citizens being abused by police and being jailed for 24 hours (sometimes longer), that is the subject of Yves Bordenave, Isabelle Mandraud, Alain Salles, and Laetitia Van Eeckhout's article in Le Monde.

While crimes are admittedly proliferating, Sarkozy, Chirac, and Jospin alike have declared that the foremost of liberties is security (La sécurité est la première des libertés), and a rather large 1% of the French population — most of them honest citizens — has been submitted to a variety of (temporary) arrest called garde à vue, writes Nathalie Guibert in Le Monde, often for what seems to be spurious reasons.
Secrétaire générale de FO-Magistrats, vice-procureur au tribunal de Paris, Naïma Rudloff le déplore : "On place plus en garde à vue qu'avant, surtout pour les contentieux à la mode. On a poussé la situation jusqu'à l'absurde."

…Selon [l'avocat Matthieu Barbé], la garde à vue est "une forme d'enfermement qui vise à exercer des pressions" sur une personne "affaiblie". … Les avocats, appelés dans la première heure, ne disposent d'aucun pouvoir dans ce cadre. "L'entretien que nous avons avec le client ne doit pas dépasser trente minutes et ne porte que sur la procédure, explique Maître Antoine Aussedat, avocat au barreau de Paris. Nous n'avons pas accès au dossier. Les personnes que nous rencontrons à cette occasion sont souvent apeurées, perdues. Elles ne comprennent pas ce qui leur arrive."
While Le Monde tries to sound the alert (Děkuji schön to Pete), Laurent Bonelli answers the questions of Isabelle Mandraud and Alain Salles. (Incidentally, Le Monde quotes Barak [sic] Obama, but as you can see, in spite of his being the messiah, they have gotten no better at spelling American presidents' names…)

A Legend to Themselves

Thefake nature of the whole tempest in this teapot, is that no-one in the Obama administration has asked if Europeans will take any detainees. Of course the real issue here is that the Europeans want the US to take the risk of declaring “innocent” the Gitmo detainees – in effect wanting the US to be brave for them.

This principle was previously employed by the Bush administration when it requested co-operation from the Netherlands and 70 other countries to accept Guantanamo Bay detainees who were eligible for release, but could not be repatriated. The Netherlands has thus far rejected this request.
The Dutch had no problem prosecuting Geert Wilders for “inciting an emotion”, in effect criminalizing his opinions. In this case what they’re looking for is that some other place, culture, anyone far away to confirm what European opinion WISHES was true without any of them having to contend with any of the potential consequences of what any of those men go back to doing after release, even though the Europeans are hoping for the 60 that are to be acquitted anyway.
The US request concerns the 60 “acquitted” detainees. The Dutch government’s argument in denying the request is that the trial and repatriation of these detainees is America’s responsibility. Dutch foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democratic party, CDA) is prepared, together with the EU Council [organisation of EU member states' foreign ministers], to consider “the possibility of facilitating the acceptance of ex-prisoners by countries of origin or by third party countries."
Critics, including the opposition party WD [right-wing liberal party], D66 [left-wing liberal party] and GroenLinks [green party] argue that the Netherlands must take in these 60 “acquitted” detainees because the Netherlands has always maintained a high-horse attitude towards the closing of the prison. “Someone like Verhagen, who is always talking about human rights, should really be able to show something on this point,” said D66’s Pechtold.
This reasoning, however, falls short. First of all, the responsibility for the trial, repatriation and acceptance of Guantanamo Bay detainees is primarily that of the US. According to international law, a country that has taken prisoners is itself responsible for safeguarding their rights. Rectifying abuses in Guantanamo Bay is legally and politically very complex and America itself needs to take on this responsibility. Were the Netherlands to do this, it would send the message that America can not only fail to recognize the International Criminal Court, but can also get away with violating human rights.
Using the same old brickbat – their own patented concept of human rights – the dear John letter is starting to take shape and stretching to the point of implausibility. When was it that the acquitted even need a full trial to vindicate them? Isnt the operating assumption that European public opinion has been operating on that these ‘poor waifs’ are the portrait of innocence?

Without the tempest of their invention in the teapot of their invention, they would have to face who and what they are as non-risk-takers who just want to be liked: irrelevant, even to themselves if they can’t back up their opinions.

No Plane Touched Down in the Hudson!

Mayday! Mayday! Listen up, y'all! An' listen good!

No plane ever crash-landed in the Hudson! You know what it was really?! It was a conspiracy! Planned by the White House… You don't believe us? Snort! You think it was the Canadian geese?! Snicker, eye roll, deep sigh, head shake, tch tch tch… Don't be so clueless…

Where is the video of the plane crash-landing in the water?! Huh?! Huh!! Tell us, where?! Aren't there always cameras trained on that New York river?! And how about all the tourists?! Don't they have cameras on them?! And haven't you heard the bird specialists?! It is impossible for a goose (for a Canadian goose, at any rate) to get within 70 feet of an Airbus A320! Plus, didn't you hear the explosions? The explosions that detonated right prior to the plane's alleged touchdown? C'm'on, now!!

Update: A strange coincidence took place right before takeoff: it seems that as the flight was boarding, a surprising number of passengers canceled their flights — all of whom were Jewish!!

Update 2: As we go to press, Thierry Meyssan is planning a book confirming that it was "a plot by the CIA to take the American people's attention away from the crisis America is undergoing, coupled with aid from Mossad to keep the media from looking more closely at the Gaza genocide"…

Thursday, February 05, 2009

(The continued) Closing of already small and static minds

As regular readers of NP are aware, from time to time we enjoy delving into the "minds", "thoughts" and tortured "logic" of hardcore leftists and statists. As mentioned previously these journeys into the abyss are normally done with the same slack-jawed awe one usually musters up only when viewing the human oddities exhibit at a traveling carnival.

However, as the ideas of the hardcore left seem to move closer into the mainstream of thought (mind you, this mainstream dash is not accomplished by head-on debate and an honest airing of ideas but by oozing underneath the backdoor while no-one is watching) it is much more prescient to take the "ideas" offered by the statists as serious contributions to the actual debate. Do note, the suspension of reality and the understanding of speciousness are key factors when lifting up the rock to observe these "ideas" which scatter and slither in the light of observation.

All of this brings us to one of our favourite reality-phobic leftist touchstones, Tax Research UK (TR-UK). It matters not that this particular "pressure" group of statists are UK-based. The template for this particular group would fit in nicely with the same hard-left statist types based in any country: More government control, more taxes, more spending, afraid of debate, closed-mindeness, and an oddly provincial outlook on life. What the TR-UK types are stammering on about lately should not be a surprise to anyone familiar with statists: More taxes (again), the denial of reality and of course hypocrisy. All familiar ground for the hard-left. Before your eyes glaze over and you scroll furiously, do keep in mind these are the types of individuals who agitate for their narrow world-view to be foisted upon the normal and rational of the citizenry all in the name of that vague notion of "social justice", as defined by the hardcore left naturally. Foisted behind closed doors with other like-minded hand-wringing types with sit around the sewing circle with too much time on their hands and too many eyes on your wallet and purse.

Back to the subject at hand, the latest tax-quest,denial of reality and hypocrisy by TR-UK. TR-UK has spent years denying the reality of a little something that those running a lemonade stand grasp quite firmly, tax incidence. Tax incidence being of course the concept and reality of who bears the economic burden of taxation. The issue comes about as the Guardian is in the midst of an illuminating, for reasons possibly not intended, series of articles on taxation. The usual airing of the bloody shirt, "increase taxes on business!", has the tax-mongers at TR-UK in a fevered pitch of denial. The concept of tax incidence is that of taxes on business being borne by some combination of shareholders receiving smaller returns, labour receiving lower wages, and/or customers paying higher prices. A quite easy concept to grasp for any reasonable, rational and logical individual. Of course it goes without saying that the statists at TR-UK fail to grasp the obvious, as usual. Do not believe the reality of tax incidence by NP, see what the OECD has recently said about the very same topic:

In summary, whether the burden of the corporate income tax falls rather on capital than on labour depends on the underlying model assumptions. The easier it is to substitute foreign production for the home-country’s production and the more mobile is capital, the lower is the burden of the corporate income tax on capital and the higher is the burden on the more immobile production factors such as labour. If capital is perfectly mobile, labour might even bear more than the full burden of the corporate income tax. But if capital is less internationally mobile, then the burden will fall partly on capital. Moreover, if goods produced in different countries are imperfect substitutes, their prices might differ which might imply that the before-tax price of capital is not necessarily the same across countries. Again, even in a small-open economy, capital might then partly bear the tax burden of the corporate income tax.

So, depending on the situation, the sector, the tax regime, and a host of other factors the economic burden of taxation does indeed fall upon some combination of shareholder, labour, and/or customer. The major outstanding question is the percentage of the taxation falling upon the particular actor. TR-UK denies the existence of tax incidence and thus reality. All of which leads us to the third-leg of the leftist stool in this example, hypocrisy.

TR-UK has a long-standing tax fetish with the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Two localities which offer a modicum of tax sanity in the storm of never slaked thirsts of other governments (egged on by the likes of TR-UK) for evermore taxation to be paid by the citizenry. TR-UK highlights the introduction of a consumption tax on all goods and services imported into Jersey and Guernsey (the GST). Despite years of denial regarding tax incidence, TR-UK finally sees the light (based in the relativism of an axe-grinding flip-flop to sate the aforementioned tax fetish) and unknowingly admits the introduction of this tax will not be borne by those firms importing but:

What is very clear is that those ordinary people living there (the real residents - not the parasitical ex-pat community who are either there to evade tax or provide facilities for those who want to) do not enjoy a high standard of living. Prices are astronomical. And this move would shift the burden of significant additional tax onto them: most goods and services are subject to the GST. In other words: they would be paying to have the tax evaders in their midst.

Given TR-UKs long-standing and dogmatic denial of tax incidence, how can these ordinary people of Jersey and Guernsey now bear the burden of taxes imposed upon the businesses actually doing the importing? Tax incidence does not exist, just ask TR-UK.

This all to typical example of the ham-handed "ideas" of one statist organisation, TR-UK, is the norm amongst the hardcore left. The more rational and logical among us need to do a little less laughing (as difficult as that is) when the statist crowd begins bleating and trying to run everyone elses life according to the twisted and authoritarian agenda of the hardcore left.

How to paint yourself into a corner

With this being stated as fact:

In an op-ed piece in The Washington Post, the president argued that each day without his stimulus package, Americans lose more jobs, savings and homes.
It only stands to reason that once the stimulus package is passed, and make no mistake it will be, Americans will stop losing jobs, savings and homes. The very next day after it is passed, no?

The vast bulk of Obama's spending will go to programs that further erode families, encourage single-parenthood, and criminalize fathers

Like all presidents, Obama will reward his supporters with jobs, money, and power
writes Stephen Baskerville of Taken Into Custody fame.
His principal constituencies are the bar associations, social work bureaucracies, and feminist organizations. Regardless of his rhetoric about “restraint,” Obama will reward these friends with federal appointments and federal spending. They will take up positions directing the welfare agencies such as HHS, housing, and education. These officials will be very hostile to fathers, parents generally, and intact families. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – both of whom push an aggressively feminist agenda –will help distribute the largesse.

…Obama and his court intellectuals have rationalized a free-for-all for leftist programs (and perhaps some apparently conservative ones, to diffuse opposition by ensuring that conservatives too have a place at the trough). It is a prescription for a massive federal patronage machine, centralization of power, and destruction of constitutional protections. This is precisely what was begun by the New Deal and has been steadily growing ever since. The present administration starts way ahead of where the New Deal began. It is a power grab on an unprecedented scale.

All this will do little or nothing to stimulate the economy but, on the contrary, run the economy into the ground. As more fathers become unemployed, they will be divorced, unable to pay “child support,” and jailed without trial.

Few will notice immediately the expanding power of the already burgeoning and authoritarian federal police forces: child protection, child support enforcement, the various agencies dealing with "domestic violence" such as the Justice Department. The welfare state is already becoming a police state, but now many more parents will be criminalized and incarcerated. The incarcerations will seldom be reported in the news, and there will be no information about them, as there is none now, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Only This Time It’s Okay

Obama will continue the rendition of suspected terrorist both the the US to be interrogated, or to third party states where they fall under the laws of those states, and may be abused.

Google News only shows 34 stories for this philosophical reversal, one of which is Rachel Maddow’s theorizing that Obama’s decision to permit renditions is somehow auto-magically due to Bush hires still being in government. To use your own theme of sabotage, how is it that you sabotage thoughts Rachel? Or is the Enver Hoxha mind influence crap the piece of history they want to bring with them into this century?

Andrew Sullivan’s take in the Atlantic is stupefying in trying to gloss over the differences between rendition and detention of intelligence finds.

If anything proves what a miserable job the press is doing with even basic news coverage, it’s this. By fawning over their favorite, they are barely reporting the news at all. In fact the OPINION item blindly backing the left came out almost as quickly as the wire stories.

As is this was about suspicions of torture, then definition downward of torture, Sullivan wants to make this move about something that won’t muss his readership’s hair. What it is, is a salve wherein after having defined UP the rendition issue, it now has to be defined back down for as many as possible in the world view of Obama’s voters to even be perceivable to them.
There is, of course, a deeper point here. The clear abandonment of the Bush-Cheney torture program makes the detention and rendition of terror suspects much less worrying - both in terms of the damage done to reliable intelligence and the moral cost of betraying core Western values. When the US government has already deployed torture (and retains it as an option under ludicrous euphemisms), it is difficult to believe that they will be squeamish in preventing other governments - such as Egypt and Jordan - from the same or more sadistic and crude forms of torture. One can also be much less worried about short-term, accountable detention of terror suspects if we know that they won't be tortured, abused or mistreated. Abandoning torture as policy makes temporary detention and ordinary rendition less controversial and more defensible as tools in our arsenal.

What some on the far right seem not to grasp is that opposition to torture is not about being soft on terrorism. It is about being effective against terrorism - ensuring that intelligence is not filled with torture-generated garbage, that we retain the moral high-ground in a long war against theocratic violence, and that we can better identify, capture, kill or bring to justice those who threaten our way of life. Rendition and temporary detention are tools in that effort - tools that now need to be as closely monitored and assessed as they were once recklessly abused.
The thrust of the left has NEVER ONCE been about “effective” practice in external affairs. It’s always been a canvas to imagine the shape of their social policies at home in a manner that agrees with them: where they can deal directly with governments that can implement without public consent one social program or another by simply declaring it, such as is the case with WAVA and other social bugaboos that have nothing to do with relations anywhere or international security issues anywhere other than in academia or a think tank. We’re just supposed to believe that to be true because of what they’re calling it, and accept that by declaring it serious, it becomes serious.

So goes it for thing that are real too, and in the same way: never mind the fact that there is no consistent theory matching up the complaint rhetoric against American interests, no consistent theory holding their measures together now, and nothing telling us that they aren’t amateurishly feeling their way through each of their passionate past complaints the left made into its’ own individual ulcer that need be addressed, such as “no torture,” “save the whales,” “no more rendition,” “Cheney ran Abu Ghreib,” opposing abstinence education in poor societies where AIDS is becoming endemic, etal.

We are in for a hell of a ride if international policy is driven by a need to put balm on the left’s self-inflicted verbal wounds – each of which USED to have a “solution” which invariably required the making of a weakened and deferential America.

Much as we found that the more anti-American a non-American is, the more they favored Barack Obama during the election season, we find that strange deference having to face itself and change itself, both in the US and abroad. Good luck, because it was the very essence of cognitive dissonance.

So What Will the Lefty “Stimulus” fed Economies Eventually Look Like?

No Democrats ever commit crimes; they merely make mistakes

You can't help but wonder if Democrats pay ever taxes
muses Michael Reagan as Ronnie's eldest son discusses double standards while taking a look at Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer, Charlie Rangel, and Al Franken, among others.
It seems from the headlines that the way it works is that Democrats levy taxes but only Republicans have to pay them.

…Not to worry, though. It appears that none of these people committed offenses. They merely made "mistakes."

Speaking of Daschle, the president said: "Tom made a mistake, which he has openly acknowledged. He has not excused it, nor do I. But that mistake and this decision cannot diminish the many contributions Tom has made to this country."

No Democrats ever commit crimes. They merely make mistakes.

Not so with Republicans. If you tell a joke at the 100th birthday party of a retiring and dying Senator, your career in the Senate will be in shambles, as Trent Lott discovered. If you're a Democrat, however, well, you simply make a mistake when you do something wrong.

Democrats can do just about anything they want. They can avoid paying taxes, wrap $90,000 in bills in tinfoil and put in a freezer, and it's written off as just another mistake.

Willie Sutton didn't rob banks. He and John Dillinger simply made a lot of mistakes.

Funny, I haven't heard anyone suggest that Dick Nixon's actions in Watergate were simply mistakes. But then, Nixon was a Republican and Republicans are not allowed to claim that their misdeeds were mistakes. That privilege is reserved for Democrats who get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

…When George Bush didn't go the New Orleans it was seen as a crime of enormous proportions. When Barack Obama gives a party instead of giving aid and comfort to ice-stricken Kentuckians, it must be an oversight -- a mistake.

Like they say...

The first thing to go in tough times are luxury items:

Wind and solar power have been growing at a blistering pace in recent years, and that growth seemed likely to accelerate under the green-minded Obama administration. But because of the credit crisis and the broader economic downturn, the opposite is happening: installation of wind and solar power is plummeting.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The presumption of guilt against Geert Wilders: A classic case of shooting the messenger

Ian Buruma, in his attempt to disparage the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, says there is a "muddle" in "the debate in the West over Islam and free speech" ("Insults to free speech," Views, Jan. 30)
protests Peter Forsythe from Hong Kong as he points out that a "pre-judged case against someone for the 'crime' of 'insulting Islam' is surely worthy more of a Saudi court than a European one."
The biggest muddle of all is about who should be insulted by what.

"Fitna," the short film by Wilders on Islamic extremism, quotes verses from the Koran, then shows Muslim clerics repeating those verses, then shows the violence resulting from acting on those verses. Muslims vilify Jews, seek death for apostates, call for jihad against European crusaders and proclaim that Islam will take over the world. Should not moderate Muslims be offended by such activities — done explicitly in the name of Islam — and not by the man reporting them?

Should they not protest against the "hijackers" who, we are repeatedly told have "hijacked" their peaceful religion? Should they not be insulted that these people have "misunderstood" Islam, for it is, after all, a "religion of peace"?

But no, they do not. They target instead the person who reports them. And for the West, for the Dutch, the message is ignored, in a classic case of shooting the messenger.

This case, with its presumption of guilt, has done violence to fairness and justice. A pre-judged case against someone for the "crime" of "insulting Islam" is surely worthy more of a Saudi court than a European one.

Wilders is on an Islamic hit list and travels with bodyguards. And yet it is he who faces jail. That's not just an insult; that's obscene.

In the dim, chilling light of winter 2009, Iranian fists or hands or fingers still look alike

With Iran so far advanced in making enriched uranium that some experts think it could produce enough for an atomic bomb sometime this year, the Obama administration and its European friends have gotten no closer to stopping the rush to a nuclear weapon that they insist is "unacceptable"
writes John Vinocur about the current direction of Middle Eastern policies which might lead to "an end to [Obama's] star turn as Mr. Multilateral"
Part of the problem is that the Iranians, gifted verbal twisters and masters of murk, are toying with Barack Obama's phrase last week about an extended American hand in exchange for their unclenched fist.

…Hah. A couple of details in passing: Iran's extended hand ([close Ahmadinejad aide Ali Akbar] Javanfekr's phrase here) involves Iranian refusal to curtail its nuclear work, a demand that the United States end its military presence around the world, proof from Obama of "diplomatic respect" and an end of American support to (the wording is Ahmadinejad's) "the rootless, uncivilized, fabricated, murdering Zionists."

There was nothing more positive coming back publicly in response to what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said was a clear opportunity for Iran "to demonstrate some willingness to engage meaningfully."

In the dim, chilling light of winter 2009, Iranian fists or hands or fingers still look alike.

But there is an American problem here, too. According to French anti-proliferation experts, the United States has acted in a way that allows Iran to believe it has a no-fist or low-risk adversary.

…Bruno Tertrais, an analyst for the Foundation for Strategic Research [in Paris], found the American messages "confusing if not contradictory."

…Drawing on other indicators, Thérèse Delpech, the most authoritative voice among the tough-minded French nuclear weapons-control specialists, has concluded that "the notion of a United States military threat has no credibility in Iran."

So: Is there, in fact, an American fist clenched someplace behind the offers of respect, friendship and a willingness to listen?

…Looking at the overall situation, Delpech found "there's no chance - zero - that the negotiations succeed with the present Iranian power."

Reference update

In case you need to update your bookmarks in order to keep your mind refreshed, via this comment we re-find a (somewhat) definitive list of those things in the world being ruined/destroyed/strengthened/created/other by man-made global warming. As man-made global warming currently rests in the field of cryptoecology, the entry from the list which sticks out rests in the field of cryptozoology:

Despite having hundreds of sonar contacts over the years, the trail has since gone cold and Rines believes that Nessie may be dead, a victim of global warming.

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

I’ve always smacked my forehead every time I’ve heard that stock phrase on the BBC, that meaningless saw that goes “we live in a global world!” Is there any other kind of world? That said, the continental world view, the one that tries to outsource from the person anything unpleasant to government, and further to one despotic notion or one another about global über-governance, a UN council for anything that seems vexing has once again proved to be little more than a silly expression of the adolescent sentiment that it’s the only way people can get along with one another.

So much for the warm fuzzies about that big blue ball of lurrrve, even within the European super-state.

Staff at the Lindsey refinery, in Immingham, North Lincolnshire, began their wildcat strike on Wednesday in protest at the arrival of 200 Italian and Portuguese staff who were awarded a large construction contract.

It is thought that the European contractors at the centre of the dispute were told to avoid confrontation by staying inside a large, grey barge accommodating them, which was moored in Grimsby docks. A small band of protesters gathered near the barge today but quickly dispersed.
Elsewhere, anti-globalization global-worlders protest against the existence of the global economic conference, especially its’ pan-global internationally aware nature, and all that. Apparently, anti-globalization universalists want the global village to be made of malaria ridden mud huts, and whatever other luvvy-globey symbols are fashionable this week.
Riot police have fired tear gas at bottle-throwing demonstrators in Geneva protesting against the annual World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss Alps.

An Associated Press reporter on the scene says the protest was largely peaceful until police blocked the protesters from walking to the center of the city.

Some in the crowd of about 1,000 people threw bottles and police responded with tear gas.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Are you capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time?

If you said "yes", some people may disagree with you:

Meglena Kuneva, European Commissioner for Consumers, will give a keynote speech at a conference in Brussels on 27 January, which will look at measures that can be taken to tackle the health risks that personal music players can pose to listeners. Last October, an opinion from the EU Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) found that 5-10% of personal music player listeners risk permanent hearing loss if they listen to a personal music player at high volume settings for more than one hour per day over a period of at least 5 years. The conference will bring together EU Member State experts, scientists, industry, consumer organisations, standard makers, MEPs and other stakeholders, to discuss precautions that users can take, technical solutions that industry could apply to minimise hearing damage, and whether there is a need for further regulation or revision of existing safety standards to better protect consumers.

EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva, said, "I am concerned that up to 10 million people in the EU, who are frequent users of personal music players and mobile phones at high acoustic levels, may be unknowingly damaging their hearing. In the light of the recent scientific advice, we need to act quickly, to look again at the controls in place, to make sure they are fully effective and keep pace with new technology so that consumers benefit from the highest safety standards."

The 2008 Election was as Historic as Vintage Machine Politics

They outspent the Republican by 2 to 1, they had as a gift an economic downturn which works naturally against the incumbent party, they had nearly the entire press in bed with them, more than willing to provide support to any slander that Obama supports could gin up.

They had nearly every corner of pop culture, anyone who could get in front of a camera gunning for them. They fired up as much fuelling of hate, demonization, “rapid reaction forces” sent to Alaska to dig up dirt, as much class-warfare as they could stoke, along the lines of Kanye West alleging that anyone he disagrees with hates black people. Money and support were pouring in from abroad and accepted unlawfully. Credit card fraud schemes added to their coffers.

All the stops came out, and they only got 52.9% of the popular vote. All of that, a billion dollars spent by the Obama campaign and others acting in its’ interest, slave labor provided by unions and just the right kind of municipal works who get election day off and benefit personally by voting for the left, and they only tipped the balance in favor of a logo-branded man running on little more than repeating the name of an emotion by what is actually a tiny margin compared to the amount of leverage of the public used.

You would think that with all of that firepower a result more akin to the victories declared for Castro and Saddam Hussein’s regular “elections”, almost always announced with great pride and little objection by our caring defenders of “social justice” to be in the area of 99%.

By every objective measure the Obama campaign was a miserable failure. His election victory is nothing to really be proud of. That said, I’m not that worried about President Obama himself because he really doesn’t appear to believe in anything, but he’s got to dance with the ones that brung ‘em.

Like we said...

Gaia is indeed a cruel mistress:

The heaviest snow for two decades moved into Britain on a freezing easterly wind last night after gathering strength over the North Sea. Falls of up to 10cm (4in) are predicted initially on the south-east coast and inland as far as London before the storms head north.

The Met Office said it was classifying today's expected snowfall as an "extreme weather event".
Now, input from readers is needed. If this paragraph from the article...

The current snap is expected to thaw much sooner, with temperatures rising later this week, but further snow is forecast. Overall, the renewed cold spell is certain to seal this winter's dubious distinction of being the coldest for 13 years.
...actually said...

The current snap is expected to thaw much sooner, with temperatures rising later this week, but further snow is forecast. Overall, the renewed cold spell is certain to seal this winter's dubious distinction of being the warmest for 13 years.
...would the article have included the obligatory gnashing of teeth regarding the relentless march of man-made global warming destroying us all before the dawn? Oddly, this winter's dubious distinction of being on track as the coldest for 13 years does not merit any discussion in the article of man-made global warming. Strange.

On a related note the article has a sub-headline which reads:

People warned to avoid unnecessary journeys
Does that mean most governmental offices will be closed today due to lack of staff journeying to work?

Genocidal chic

Two items come to mind of late while reading the hard-left scribblings on-line: 1) Too often those not on the hard-left have a hearty laugh at the latest schemes, scams, and wind-mill tilting of those who know better how to live our lives for us; 2) The real lack of ad hominem attacks (a recurring theme amongst the clenched-fist leftists) from non-statists and socialists during the course of debate (yes, it does happen but is primarily the domain of the hard-left).

However, this particular offering rather leads the rational and libertine among us to drop the above two caveats:

COUPLES who have more than two children are being "irresponsible" by creating an unbearable burden on the environment, the government's green adviser has warned.

Jonathon Porritt, who chairs the government's Sustainable Development Commission, says curbing population growth through contraception and abortion must be at the heart of policies to fight global warming. He says political leaders and green campaigners should stop dodging the issue of environmental harm caused by an expanding population.


Porritt, a former chairman of the Green party, says the government must improve family planning, even if it means shifting money from curing illness to increasing contraception and abortion.
The above of course is from a government official, not some left-wing loon who fortunately has no power over their own existence much less anyone else. No, the above is from an officially sanctioned governmental official. Rather than have a nice laugh at the meanderings of a potentially genocidal mind, this particular instance of population-control footsie unfortunately carries a little bit more weight. As such it is quite rational to ask legitimate questions along the lines opened-up by this particular government official:

1) Should there be a cull of third-born, fourth-born, etc children under a particular age? If yes, what age would that be? If no, the 'problem' you state must not be that serious, correct?

2) Which illnesses should not be treated so as to increase the funding for contraception and/or abortions? What if individuals want to pay for their own treatment for an un-illness? Will there be an age limit at which illnesses will not be treated -or- just a blanket non-treatment for certain illnesses?

3) Will household pets be included in this plan?

4) Will livestock used for food purposes be included in this plan?

5) What should be the penalties for any individual/couple for having a third-born+ child?

6) Who is to make these decisions related to enforcing such a scheme? Individuals or government?

There are undoubtedly a myriad of serious questions this government official should be forced to answer. This particular article may be attributed to a slip of the tongue for this particular government official. Make no mistake, this is better classified as a slip of the veil, a slip through which the mask drops and we get to truly see what types of individuals are staffing government officialdom. This leads to point two from paragraph one above, it is not only proper but necessary to question the sanity and possible mental defections of any government official with such troubled inclinations? Anyone this dogamtic in their zeal to push an unproved agenda in this manner is begging to have their fitness for office proven. Unburdened by reality the psychosis of this type of genocidal mindset must run very deep.

For those who prefer the story in pictures, this is what the genocidal-wing of the hard-left thinks about you the individual bringing that brand new bundle of joy back home from hospital, Luftwaffe-style.

By the way, they actually mean it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

From the mouths of babes

Being stuck inside with innumerable rug rats this weekend, cartoons were watched. Of note was the beginning of Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost. Typical Scooby-Doo fare, but oh that beginning illuminates nicely for the grown-ups:

The movie opens with the curator of a museum closing up for the night. Suddenly he is attacked by two creatures with glowing green eyes. Hiding in the museum, amongst various artifacts are Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma. It turns out that they are not alone in the museum. A man by the name of Ben Ravencroft is also hiding there.

Ben Ravencroft helps catch the bad guys. It seems that they are really not scary creatures after all. The men work at the museum!! It is Perkins and Griswald, two disgruntled archeologists from the Babylonian Project.
Now, why would these two disgruntled archeologists from the very same museum attack their very own curator:

They were angry because their funding had been cut by the curator!!
Art imitates life. Still think that assistance, the pursuit of knowledge, scientific discovery, truth, et al are the number one objectives of many in the do-gooder community?

It is all about the funding ....... ZOINKS!!

Who says cartoons can't teach children important life lessons?

What Would “the World” to without the US as a Distant, All-Purpose Scapegoat?

What they say:

"In Europe, we have a social-market economy," European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said in an interview. "We have universal health care, a more generous system of social security, a general principle of almost free university education. And we want to keep that."

For years, Europe's more-regulated model of capitalism has been maligned by many economists as a study in second-rate market economics. Now, as world leaders seek a way out of the crisis -- and aim to avoid repeating it -- U.S.-style capitalism is under siege and the European model is getting another look.
What it means:
German unemployment rose almost twice as much as forecast in January as an economic slump sparked by the global financial crisis spread to industries from cars to software.

The number of people out of work rose by 56,000 in seasonally adjusted terms to 3.27 million, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said today. Economists forecast an increase of 30,000, according to the median of 33 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The adjusted jobless rate rose to 7.8 percent from 7.7 percent. In unadjusted terms, the number of jobless increased by 387,000.

“We’ve reached the turning point on the labor market,” Rainer Guntermann, an economist at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt, said in an interview. “Sooner or later, we’ll see major restructuring programs and job cuts.”
That’s the ‘socially aware’ forecast of the ‘socially advanced’ economy. Can the population afford to be any more ‘aware’ of their superiority to their own “just please don’t call it a market economy” market economy? Or the “we’ll keep touting our nonexistent social collectivism?”
But Thursday's Davos discussions also brought reminders of the Continent's structural vulnerabilities. "I don't think everyone wants to take responsibility for everyone else's problems," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said during a panel on European economic governance. "In that sense, we are still nation-states ... and I think that will not change in the short term."
Just don’t say it, please... after all isn’t it that American invention, “the blind pursuit of profits” that has cause every ill in the world? We all know that the Chinese and Russian don’t pursue profits! Why? Because our delusions about them say so!
government leaders decided not to make new investments in a number of US companies that sought China's capital. China's pullback from Fannie and Freddie debt helped push up rates on US mortgages last year just as Washington was seeking to revive the US housing market.

Mr Wen said the crisis had posed "severe challenges" for China and that it needed 8 per cent growth this year to maintain social stability while the International Monetary Fund predicted 6.7 per cent for this year. The Chinese leader called for faster reform of international financial institutions and for a "new world order" for the economy.
So they poured fuel on the fire by investing in US mortgages, triggered the economic crisis by spiking the demand in energy and commodities to sell goods to the world using previously sound credt, and not they want a “new world order” that will guarantee them 8 percent growth in GDP.

Oh, and it isn’t “their capitalism” that’s at fault. It’s someone else’s. Yeah right.