Saturday, February 28, 2009

How Leftists Handle a Disagreement

Forget about all of that hokum about concensus building and getting along. They just don't, and prefer Manson Family values to accepting that others don't see the world as they would themselves.

These people are entirely incapable of living normative lives in world where they have to deal with differences of opinion.

Domy, the sychophant: Erik Svane, the French hater who is living in France, and prime activist of " No Pasaran " blog, is speaking on ....
France 24, (the French Pravda) !

He is surrending to French medias ???

The video here :

Usually he is homophobic, Islamophobic, Europaphobic, Frenchphobic, Socialistphobic, but on this video
he suddenly has an angel face !

Ce type serait prêt à passer sur ventre de sa mère, pour faire parler de lui !
You can almost see the posters spunking all over themselves with glee at the ideas that their hatred counts for something in the world. Their idea of intelligent discourse stops at about this point:
Superfrenchie, a man who only permits comments on his blog that agree with his world view"Erik Swane of 'Republicans Abroad'"....

More like Racists Bigots Abroad!

- SuperFrenchie
That’s the best Chazelle (who lives in the US state of Maryland, not the France which he is growing increasingly less familiar with) and his fellow travelers can do: call people who don’t drink from his cup bigots, racists, homophobes, etc. or anything else they concider the opposite of their concepts of virtue. That is the absolute limit of their capacity for rhetoric, and except for a very small group of intellectuals in the left’s weltanschauung, the limit of most of the left’s capacity to understand the rest of the world.

You’ll note that the general idea they have that identity, in particular those ones they find popular this week, are themselves a virtue, not necessarily those expressions of virtue founded on the things people actually say and do. Ironically, Chazelle calls himself an adult.

Greetings from CPAC

CPAC 2009 in full swing

Friday, February 27, 2009

This is What Old Europe Means by “Finally Getting Involved” in Iraq

The European Greens are no longer pacifists. What they really aren’t though is realistic about what Europe will actually commit to when they say that it’s time to support their man in the White House when it comes to Iraq, now that they think the White House is theirs’.

”The European Union should make use of its rich experience of state-building and managing transition and peace-building processes to support the Iraqi government" ... "by educating, training and mentoring personnel of key ministries, such as the ministries of the Interior and Justice." "... call for human resources of about 200 to 500 European officials as part of a broad initiative" ... "to empower state institutions and to train officials and qualified staff"
Which is to say, create another raft of jobs for the managing types who will serve in the European exploitation of Iraq, as opposed to the US’ interest, time, and commitment to put Iraqi resources at work in Iraq’s benefit.

The pieties all sound nice until you read their proposal for engagement.

Noting that the US doesn’t need EU troops, but EU civilians to come just in time for stabilization to pay off, one of the contributors to this academic-journal style of articles gathered together to be called a report, one writer lays out the United States’ basic objectives for Iraq.
It is important to be clear about the US’ vital interests and options in Iraq, which will have echoes and repercussions in Europe. An expert group spanning the full range of the American political spectrum convened at the US Institute of Peace over the past year and defined US vital interests as follows:
1. Prevent Iraq from becoming a haven or platform for international terrorists.
2. Restore US credibility, prestige, and capacity to act worldwide.
3. Improve regional stability.
4. Limit and redirect Iranian influence.
5. Maintain an independent Iraq as a single state.
Aside from the fact that they are harldy able to accomplish any of this within Europe in the former Yugoslavia after more than a decade of occupation, the European objectives are also made quite clear.

Behold the (American) blood for (European) oil “humanitarian policy position” found on page 37:
There is plenty of gas in Iraq that Europe can make use of. According to Syrian oil expert Mustapha al-Sayyed, this reserve “Can easily provide Europe with gas for the upcoming 10 years.” The European gas network, he said, is linked to the Turkish one,
which in turn will be connected to the Syrian one, “in no more than 6 months.” Once the Syrian gas network is in full operation with the Turkish and European one, he said, this will be a tremendous source of additional power to Europe. The Iraqi gas reserve is estimated at more than 112 trillion cubic feet, larger than that of both Algeria and Egypt combined. In the Akkas field, for example, near the border with Syria, there is an estimated seven trillion cubic feet, representing up to 6% of Iraq’s full reserves.
This reserve would relieve Europe from its reliance on Russia, which currently provides nearly 40% of the continent’s need, said Sayyed, who is closely involved with the Akkas gas fields. “Akkas is expected to produce up to 50 million cubic feet/day by 2011, when the Americans leave Iraq, and given a mutual will between both the European Union and Iraq, this could increase to more than nine-fold, after the Americans leave Iraq.”
Goodbye pluralism, here comes Total, Siemens, Nestlé, and the rest of the usual stuff they tell themselves for inspiration.
Invest in young people, those who are struggling to get a better education, or escape the misery of their difficulties in Iraq. Scholarships should be provided for promising Iraqi students to study at European schools, visit Europe to learn more about European culture, and then return to their countries, to “spread the influence.”
Then they can drive for them under the influence. ‘Tis their way: maximum profit for minimum gain, all wrapped up with a bow and a card called “See? Now we care!” Amazingly, they want to be loved for merely thinking this battle plan of theirs’ isn’t as crass as it seems, even going so far as to call it elsewhere in the screed a “moral obligation”.
Make the best of the current desire in Iraq to provide alternatives to the American option when it comes to industrial development, commerce, real estate, oil and gas.
Same as it ever was.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

British Squaddie Goes Green, Joy Rides

and eventually hugs tree.

The Reality of Squandered Sympathy

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. When Obama went on his midsummer world tour, foreign leaders fell over themselves to get in photo-ops with the Democratic nominee, and a crowd of hundreds of thousands packed a park in Berlin to hear Obama speak.
What’s all that goofy EurObamaMania worth? Just like rest of those empty European pieties. Nothing.
In fact, in Germany, the debate is shifting away from “what more can we do?” entirely, and toward “when can we leave?” Merkel’s immediate predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, wrote in the Spiegel that “the question of how much longer this is supposed to last is also appropriate. I believe that the Bundeswehr’s mission can be ended within 10 years. . . . A timeframe must be set for troop withdrawal.”

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Anti-Americans’ Vocabulary Still Hasn’t Yet Expanded to that of a Normal Adult

Doomed! America is doomed, I tell ya! Whithering away! But not whithering away too quickly to be at fault of the very opposite too – culpability for showing any comparative degree of success in anything. For that, and its’ opposite, the entire culture, people, and most of all its’ image must be smited to prop up someones’ tender feelings of needing to wallow in an envious obsession of envy and the need for a far away demon.

The silliest thing that clever people are saying about the world economic crisis is that the United States will lose its position as the dominant world superpower in consequence. On the contrary: the crisis strengthens the relative position of the United States and exposes the far graver weaknesses of all prospective competitors. It makes the debt of the American government the world's most desirable asset. America may deserve to decline, but as Clint Eastwood said in another context, "deserve's got nothing to do with it". President Barack Obama may turn out to be the most egregious unilateralist in American history.

America's supposed decline dominates the glossy magazines. Last September, Germany's Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck intoned, "One thing seems probable to me. As a result of the crisis, the United States will lose its status as the superpower of the global financial system." The German official is quoted by Professor Richard Florida in the March 2009 Atlantic Monthly, who adds, "You don't have to strain too hard to see the financial crisis as the death knell for a debt-ridden, overconsuming and underproducing American empire - the fall long prophesied by [British historian] Paul Kennedy and others." (Florida's views are more nuanced).
Ah, the buzzwords. “Empire” “Over-consuming” etc., etc. Those phrases signal who can hear the silent dog-whistle and who can’t. It’s a good thing the US can remain useful as a hobby-horse to flag their feeble careers and lack of attention by the press.

Get into Single File. Form One Line.

Vaclav Klaus seems to be trying to steer Europe into a kind of sustainable federalism, and away from the over-centralization of state power that made the 20th century as bloody and traumatic as it was. In large part, it was because man was pushed and engineered into a specific “model of efficiency” and used as a tool. In effect, the Jedermann was and is today being buffaloed into becoming a sheepish tool with arguments about the need for collectivism and state social management as a way of wresting SOME SMALL RATION of human decency for oneself.

I call it ceasing to be a human, the kind living in the first person singular and all that. But what do I know?

The main aspects of Europeism, as I see them, can be summarized in the following way:

- the belief in social market economy, and the demonization of free markets;

- the reliance on civil society, on NGOs, on social partnership, on corporatism, instead of classical parliamentary democracy;

- the aiming at social constructivism as a result of the disbelief in spontaneous evolution of human society;

- indifference towards the nation state and blind faith in internationalism;

- the promotion of the supranationalist model of European integration, not its intergovernmental model.
Your ration card, of course, comes from a casual looking complex of rules, mores, and non-government authority mechanisms. If the very idea that Klaus’ statements are demonized in de rigeur fashion, and as a function of what one must do in polite political discourse, then I would say that European society is already reaching that intellectual dystopia that characterized the age of Hitler and Stalin, Honecker and Chaucescu.

Peace on Earth -or- Purity of Essence?

Remember when the collective environmentalists around the world breathed a sigh of relief (and thus damaging the climate with their reckless CO2 emissions) last November when the world was righted via the election of Democrats across the board in the US?

What do they "think" now?

To environmentalists, there is no more urgent question than addressing global climate change. The new Democrat-led Congress has vowed to pass major cap-and-trade legislation in response.

Later this year. Maybe.

While President Obama said in Canada last week that climate change remains a priority, Congress appears in no hurry to act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., last week promised a bill "hopefully" by late summer. The House is unlikely to even attempt to pass a major bill until December at the earliest, according to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
The nuance is overwhelming.

The Shoe-Thrower of Baghdad: Le Monde's Iraqi Hero Gets More Ink, More Praise, More Everything…

On n'épiloguera pas ici sur les 100 000 à 500 000 morts déplorés en Irak depuis une invasion officiellement lancée, en mars 2003, pour « démettre un dictateur de ses armes de destruction massive ». On n'évoquera pas les milliers de civils innocents abattus « par erreur » depuis six ans aux barrages militaires américains. Ni les centaines de familles décimées comme autant de « dommages collatéraux » dans des bombardements « antiterroristes » prétendument « ciblés ».
Thus writes Patrice Claude in Le Monde, evoking the "thousands of innocent civilians shot down 'by mistake'" (in quotation marks) as well as the hundreds of families "decimated" as "collateral damage" (again, the objective journalist's quotation marks) and, needless to say, "the 100,000 to 500,000 dead deplored in Iraq" since the invasion (no sense in trying to get more specific, I suppose). The journalist has more to say about George W. Bush — his unknown suppleness and his "unexpected" sense of humor — which (after "only" eight years!) goes to show that like so many other mainstream "journalists", Patrice Claude has let his liberal tendencies get in the way of his supposed objectivity.
Après avoir brillamment montré sur les écrans du monde entier qu'il avait une belle capacité d'esquive et une échine plus souple qu'il n'y semblait jusque-là, George Bush, la « victime », avait lui-même montré la voie en appelant les autorités irakiennes à ne pas « réagir avec excès ». Faisant preuve d'un humour inattendu — « tout ce que je peux dire c'est que c'était une taille 10 », avait-il souri dans son avion de retour —, le président des Etats-Unis avait déclaré plus sérieusement après l'incident : « Voilà ce qui arrive dans les sociétés libres, les gens cherchent à attirer l'attention sur eux-mêmes. »
Well, yes, Bush's — may we call it healthy? — sense of humor may seem surprising to people who spent the past eight years doing nothing but demonizing, ridiculing, and caricaturing the man — in the process ignoring or minimizing anything that about him that might seem positive — or even remotely human…
Du statut d'obscur salarié d'une station de télévision irakienne inconnue nommée Al-Bagdadiya, exclusivement diffusée par satellite depuis Le Caire, Mountazer Al-Zaïdi est devenu l'icône des opprimés de la terre, l'idole des foules arabes, le vengeur patenté des musulmans de la planète, le rédempteur fêté de tous les plumitifs inécoutés de l'univers.
We later learn that Mountazer Al-Zaïdi has a poster of Che Guevara in his room and that the Najaf native "is" a hero "for" the entire Muslim and Arab world (how many tens — hundreds? — of millions live there?) because "thousands" have demonstrated for him in Iraq and because "thousands" have demonstrated for him in Egypt, Palestine, Indonesia, and Pakistan. We also learn that a Bagdad sculptor, Maith Al-Amari, has built a shoe monument in honor of him in Tikrit, where Saddam Hussein was born.

Speaking of which, of course we hear nary a word about Saddam himself, or his crimes. And while bemoaning Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's lack of humor and while speaking of Mountazer Al-Zaïdi's alleged tortures after his arrest, Patrice Claude manages to mention them in the passive ("on a raconté qu'il avait été battu, torturé") while omitting that it was the hooligan himself — and/or his family — who (deliberately) lied about the exactions t0 bring sympathy to the poor man.
Mountazer Al-Zaïdi n'a pas cherché à tuer George Bush. Simplement à lui dire son mépris, sa frustration, sa souffrance d'Irakien.
Finally, we hear — from both Al-Zaïdi's lawyer and Patrice Claude — that the shoe throw was not meant to kill (ah yes — it was meant only to express himself and to express his feelings and to express his sufferings), and therefore the Najaf native should be released. But not only murders or attempted assassinations are judged in the justice systems of any given country. So are the acts of crooks, thieves, smugglers, and, last but not least… hooligans.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

NP readers ..... Be the expert!

As proven repeatedly, readers of No Pasaran are amongst the best on the web. As such, collective expertise is required on the following article:

The centrepiece satellite of Nasa’s $280 million climate-change mission crashed into the sea near Antarctica today after a launch failure, delivering a blow to the agency's attempts to understand global warming.

The carbon dioxide-monitoring satellite was fired on a rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, but after blasting through the Earth’s atmosphere it fell short of its orbiting height and plummeted back towards the sea.

The orbiting carbon observatory (OCO) satellite was designed to map carbon dioxide on Earth to provide an important step forward for scientists attempting to understand climate change.
Had this incident occurred in relationship to the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") what would the collective reax from the media be? All submissions welcome.

Gems left in the rough

Most struggling businesses are quick to deploy all of their assets to try and ensure long-term survival, this consideration is secondary of course if the business involved is primarily involved with agenda-setting, information manufacturing, information shading and information concealment. Given that set-up most astute readers have already guessed this post is in regards to the New York Times.

The struggling New York Times has paid good money to commission a poll of voter sentiment on issues of the day (editors note - The New York Times partnered with the equally struggling CBS television network in commissioning the poll). Given the dire financial straits of the New York Times one would think that all possible news would be wrung out of the poll and into print in order to help this struggling business get full value for the monies spent. If the the business involved was actually interested in reporting the news that would undoubtedly be the case. Do keep in mind, this is the New York Times.

So what gems from the poll missed out on the prestigous A1 position article and were left on the cutting room floor?

For those in the know (un-reported of course):

34. From what you know so far, what do you think about the number of tax cuts for businesses and individuals included in the economic stimulus package — are there too many cuts, too few tax cuts, about the right amount of tax cuts, or don't you know enough yet to say?

Too many - 9
Too few - 20
Right amount - 17
Don't know enough - 51
DK/NA - 3

43. In your opinion, which will do MORE to protect or create jobs: increased government spending on infrastructure, health care, education and other fields, OR tax cuts that would put more money in the hands of individuals and businesses?

Increased government spending - 41
Tax cuts - 50
Both(vol.) - 3
DK/NA - 5
An attempt to manufacture news by misconstruing a question (reported of course) via the lack of including the word 'some' as in 'some homeowners'.....

57. The Obama Administration has a plan to help homeowners refinance their mortgages, avoid foreclosure and make more credit available for mortgages. Do you think the federal government should provide this financial help to homeowners, or shouldn't the federal government do this, or don’t you know enough yet to say?

Government should help - 61
Government shouldn't - 20
Don't know enough(vol.) - 14
Some, not others - 3
DK/NA - 2
..... is woefully under-cut by a question (un-reported of course) closer to the real issue:

62. Which comes closer to your view about the Obama administration's proposal to address the housing crisis: 1. I am mostly relieved that steps are being taken to help people facing foreclosure or 2. I am mostly resentful that the plan could help homeowners who may have taken out mortgages they weren't certain they could pay, or 3. I haven't heard enough about the proposal to say? QUESTION ADDED 2/20/09 N=614

Relieved - 35
Resentful - 35
Haven’t heard enough - 26
DK/NA - 3
Never fear, there is at least some levity in the poll as well (un-reported of course):

13. Beside the economy, which of these domestic policy areas do you want the President and Congress to concentrate on MOST right now — health care, global warming, education, or Social Security? ANSWER OPTIONS WERE ROTATED

Health care - 40
Global warming - 5
Education - 27
Social Security - 22
Something else/Combination (vol.) - 4
DK/NA - 1
Money well spent.

Paging Captain Nuance

Yet another worldly “sophisticate” pays us a visit.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Perhaps the AP forgot a zero.
Writes John Rosenthal. But AP isn’t at issue here. Even when it comes to Iran, a nation they’re actually turning into a regional power, Germans seem willing appeasing anyone, anywhere, to peddle their wares. Even to the point of stammering their way around aggression and Holocaust denial.
Last month, Uwe Westphal of the German public radio Hessischer Rundfunk spoke with Helene Rang, the managing director of the Near and Middle East Association of German enterprises. (German audio is available here). The Honorary Chair of Ms. Rang’s organization is none other than former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Ms. Rang was adamant that Germany should not let itself be “bound” by any new sanctions vis-à-vis Iran: “such that we as Germans would, in the end, be in a position of having to wait again, perhaps respecting sanctions, while other countries quickly and efficiently have already begun deals or have prepared deals in a way that we Germans have not yet done.”
Stammering away, our intrepid peddler resorted to the catch-all voo-doo fetish, the only thing that actually functions in most EU states: that somehow the US is bad for sales.
Ms. Rang then beat a hasty retreat from the political front, in order to resume her economic argument, again raising the specter of Germany losing Iranian market share to other countries: notably, America. Even under the Bush administration, she pointed out, American trade with Iran increased dramatically. This appears to be an allusion to a highly publicized Associated Press report from last July, which claimed that US exports to Iran increased more than tenfold between 2001 and 2007, reaching some $146 million in 2007 (or €115 million at current exchange rates). The American goods were exported under special licenses issued for companies wanting to do business with countries under US sanctions. Note that even at the cited volume of American exports for 2007, German exports to Iran would still represent a volume some 35 times greater. Moreover, as the AP article itself makes clear, the American goods consisted of consumer items like cigarettes and bras or agricultural commodities like “bull semen.” Unlike Germany’s high-tech industrial exports, this is hardly the sort of stuff that could have military significance.
This is why a large part of Europe is not prepared to take any kind of meaningful role in strategic affairs – which is to say, the real actions and roles. Not the roles and issues that only exist because their governments demand to be a part of. They then can look like they’re on the forefront of something like “climate change” or what to do with old cell-phone chargers. Issues that are custom made for wild evasions, giant bureaucracies, and interlocking themselves artificially between the whole of humanity and something they must have to conform to some new more such as recycling or transgendered rights. Anything, so long as it doesn’t really matter. For example, the rare occasion that freedom from oppression or freedom of worship are discussed, they are quickly abandoned as too controversial or demanding too much risk to do anything about. Highly marketable ‘cultural sensitivity?’ Well. Now that’s different.

"Doing something" the governmental version

For all of those seeking to disregard contracts and agreements arrived at freely by individuals, take heart:

A new row over bankers' pay is looming after Northern Rock said that it would pay bonuses to junior and senior management despite making a loss of £1.4bn last year.

The state-owned bank said today that around 400 junior managers may qualify for a bonus equal to 10% of their salary. These staff are in line for the payout because Northern Rock hit its target of repaying much of its government loan last year. The bonuses will be paid as loan notes, not cash, deferred until 2010.
Governments rail against the "greed culture" of bonuses paid to "financial fat-cats" -however- Governments "do something" for their very own state-owned banks and pay bonuses to management, et al. Markets certainly do enjoy the mixed-messages of "doing something" governmental-style.

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

US mortgages, curious perspectives

Visiting the US it is curious to watch the old hands and old thinkers groupthink en masse behind the mortgage bailout programme announced last week by the US government. "Saving 9 million homeowners" and "Maintaining price stability for communities" are two of the oft-heard mantras being repeated en rote via those supporting.

The curious perspectives result from the very same old hands and old thinkers being baffled by the visceral reaction of most Americans to this latest bailout programme. The nettle which is not being grasped by the fossilised among us seem to be quite clear:

- There are approximately 70 million owner-occupied households in the US. The announced bailout programme will "assist" 9 million owner-occupied households. This means that over 60 million US owner-occupied households will not be "assisted".

Ahh, but these non-assisted 60 million owner-occupied households will be assisted, our old hands and old thinkers would say, by home prices being stabilised by lowering foreclosures. Win-win all around. This argument fails utterly as there is a much bigger picture out there for the 60 million:

- Retirement and 401(k) plans have been decimated (wealth of the individual, down)
- Taxes will currently and/or eventually rise in order to pay for all the bailout goodies being churned out of DC (wealth of the individual, down)
- Housing values have already been cut or slashed, stabilising will do so at a much lower value (wealth of the individual, down)
- Jobs are shaky and/or being lost at a record pace (income - and future wealth - of the individual, down)

Each of the above are impacting most households in the US, all push the wealth/income of large numbers of individuals lower, taxes being the only "rising" indicator. It is this larger picture and context which the old hands and old thinkers are failing to grasp in terms of the reax of the US citizenry nobly embodied by the likes of CNBC's Rick Santelli.

As it relates to the 9 million households helped under the mortgage bailout, why should the other 60 million households suffering economic reversal as well be on the hook for this very small group?

This post assumes politics is playing no part in any of these bailout programme - yes, a real flaw in the thinking. All other perspectives welcome.

Do as we don't

The FT reports on the financial conference of European leaders this weekend:

European leaders on Sunday outlined sweeping proposals to regulate financial markets and hedge funds and clamp down on tax havens as they sought a common position to combat the global economic crisis.
Statements were issued, memos exchanged an no doubt powerpoints were viewed. One interesting bit:

The participants also agreed that banks should create additional buffers of capital in prosperous times so they are better prepared when the economic environment deteriorates.
This sounds oddly familiar. Hmmmm, yes it sounds remarkably like the rules underpinning the Euro which bind the very same European governments themselves to fiscal stability by creating additional buffers of capital in prosperous times so they are better prepared when the economic environment deteriorates.

It Must be a Matter of Style and Élan

How is it that Europe Inc’s drunken sailor spending bears so little mention?

Europe Inc. Old World companies, from cement makers to chemical producers, went on a borrowing spree over the past decade that left them deep in the red. Corporate debt in the euro zone stands at more than $11 trillion, equaling some 95% of the region's annual output. U.S. corporate debt, by contrast, is about 50% of the economy.

Just as with subprime mortgages in the U.S., risky corporate loans were repackaged and sold to investors. Now hundreds of billions of dollars in payments are coming due as sales slump in the global economic crisis. In better times companies might have gone to their bankers to refinance. No more. Bank lending to euro zone companies plunged 40% last fall as credit tightened.
Much as the dozen Euro-feeder funds that enabled Bernie Madoff to launder his ill-gotten gains into the opaque wilderness of unregulated Eurasian finance seem to bear going unmentioned, so it seems does what the leaders of those European industries, the ones so often called social-market oriented and concerned with the population in contrast to the “cavalier” yanks and their lack of government command and control over the economy. Pfft! Don’t say that! It doesn’t fit the image!
The shock waves could ripple through global markets. S&P estimates that over the next two years, 150 European companies could default on a total of $65 billion in loans. In recent years, "there was a flood of cheap debt, lower and lower terms," says Jon Moulton, head of London private equity group Alchemy Partners, "and with less and less due diligence."
Just try hiding THAT weenie, or the inane lectures about “cowboy capitalism” from those who know so little about the world that they can’t tell the difference between failure and fraud.

Almost, but not quite

Our friends from the Guardian break some news today:

Police are preparing for a "summer of rage" as victims of the economic downturn take to the streets to demonstrate against financial institutions, the Guardian has learned.
Interesting concept. The article goes on to detail the possible public disorder scenarios being gamed out by the police in the UK. The article also notes other riots/demonstrations which have taken place across Europe since the economic conundrum kicked into gear last year.

If the reporting is correct the police may be right in theory but wrong in practice. The riots/demonstrations to-date in Europe have been directed at government and the governmental failure to properly* address the economic situation. If/when the "summer of rage" pops off it will be directed at government and the collective failure of leadership across the board.

Governmental officaldom has yet to figure out it is they who are to be held accountable.

*"properly" does not equate to using the populace as a never-ending cash ATM.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Did France Really Abolish Slavery in the 19th Century?

Did France really abolish slavery before the mid-nineteenth century? asks Nelly Schmidt in her new book. Le Monde reviewer Jérôme Gautheret states that
Bien entendu, il n'est pas ici question de nier l'évidence de l'abolition. Il s'agit plutôt d'en nuancer les effets dans les colonies. Car si on peut abolir la peine de mort en un jour, la mise à bas du système esclavagiste, elle, est un travail de plus longue haleine.

Or, tout en mettant un terme à ce régime en 1848, Paris a fait le choix de conforter la classe des planteurs. Le souvenir de la révolution de Saint-Domingue, qui mena à l'indépendance d'Haïti (1804), était encore bien présent : il s'agissait de garder la main sur les colonies en renforçant l'emprise des planteurs et en encadrant la liberté, nouvellement acquise, des esclaves. Le travail forcé, associé au recours à une main-d'oeuvre étrangère "sous contrat" succéda à l'esclavage. L'instruction publique, dans la zone, resta indigente. A la fin du XIXe siècle, le taux de scolarisation des enfants de 6 à 10 ans était de 14 % seulement...

Dans le même temps, on réaffirma le choix de la monoculture sucrière à l'heure où... le marché français n'avait plus besoin de sucre. Les Antilles, jadis prospères, s'enfoncèrent bientôt dans le sous-développement.

A cela s'ajouta, dès le jour de l'abolition, une injonction à l'oubli du passé, "politiquement organisée" à travers les appels unanimes à la réconciliation et le culte de Schoelcher. Privée d'expression publique, la mémoire de l'esclavage se perpétua de façon souterraine. Sans doute est-ce pour cela qu'elle remonte à la surface, depuis un demi-siècle, avec tant de violence.

Vision Located, Fuzzy

Things don’t seem to be going well for the ultimate anglo-saxon patter.
Germans learn foreign languages while foreigners shun German
Reason found.
“Our song title is ‘Miss Kiss Kiss Bang,’
That spot on your eye, that foggy feeling, all of it has been brought on by that continental scourge of vapidity called Eurovision. Oxymoron, really.

What the promoters of the tongue really need is a catchy tag line, as opposed to that “francophonie or impalement! Take your pick!” paranoiac rhetoric that they use next door. They need something like “Learn German: it’s a strange proclivity.”

Sunday Funnies

La verité du President Le Pen.

La verité du President Obama.

This post does not exist

The always prescient Max Keiser makes a living by predicting the news of tomorrow. Why not a post which predicts news that will not be news tomorrow? You will recall the gnashing and wailing last year from that paper of record, the New York Times:

After watching wholesale lots of the Bush administration's most important e-mails go mysteriously missing, Congress is trying to legislate against any further damage to history. The secrecy-obsessed White House is, of course, threatening a veto — one more effort to deny Americans their rightful access to the truth about how their leaders govern or misgovern.
One rather doubts this latest twist will actually be acknowledged quite so fulsomely by that very same paper of record:

The Obama administration, siding with former President George W. Bush, is trying to kill a lawsuit that seeks to recover what could be millions of missing White House e-mails.
Someone alert Minitrue.