Saturday, March 21, 2009

Breaking the Family Up Even More By Giving Parental Rights to the Step-Parent

Dominique Versini, an alleged "defender of children" (sic), one who refuses to "make a moral judgment on people's life choices", tells Le Monde's Josyane Savigneau that she is trying to get the French government to give parenting rights to third parties, i.e., step-parents and such…

To quote Stephen Baskerville,
The most dangerous place for a child is the home of a single mother. The HHS studies confirmed the already well-etablished fact that children in single-parent households are at much higher risk for physical violence and sexual molestation than those living in two-parent homes.

…"The person who is least likely to abuse a child is a married father," notes Canadian Senator Anne Cools. "The person who is most likely is a single, unmarried mother." Maggie Gallagher sums up the reality: "The person most likely to abuse a child physically is a single mother. The person most likely to abuse a child sexually is the mother's boyfriend or second husband." A two-parent family is "the safest environment for children."

…Shorn of ideological euphemism, what these figures effectively demonstrate is that the presence of the second parent, usually the father, constitutes the principal impediment to abuse. At one time all this would have been considered common sense, because two parents check each another's excesses and the father was traditionally recognized as the children's natural protector.

Which is it?

A weekend ponder, lefty types bemoan governmental intrusion into the life of the individual (the police in this instance) while at the same time calling for ever-more governmental intrusion into the life of the individual (Global warming, healthcare, taxes, schooling, etc).

Home Movies From the War in Iraq

Le Monde shows videos from the war in Iraq…

Iran to Obama's America: You Kowtow to Us First; Frenchmen: Oui, Oui, USA, Make More of an Effort to Bend Over

In response to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's you-change-first (i.e., you-kowtow-to-us) response to Barack Obama's Chamberlain call, Le Monde's French readers act like the lemmings they are.

The French Language Saved by America?

La francophonie sauvée par l'Amérique ? Les écrivains dits francophones, qui se sentent souvent mal aimés en France, font en effet recette sur les campus américains. Là, ils sont présentés, étudiés, certains faisant même l'objet de thèses. Pendant ce temps, de ce côté-ci de l'Atlantique, on compte sur les doigts de la main les chaires de littérature francophone…
Le Monde has a dossier on Pourquoi ils écrivent en français, i.e., why a number of foreign writers (such as Germany's Anne Weber) choose the French language to write in.

In that perspective, Florence Noiville adds an article about Quand les Américains célèbrent la France d'ailleurs. I remember learning in college that there were more journals about France and the French language in America than in France itself…

The “Permanent Revolution” of our Ignorant Elite

The fantasy held by leftist elitists in the west seems to remain as it ever was: accelerate downward mobility for everyone and doom humanity to starvation and failure for whatever variety of excuses are popular at any given moment. It used to be totalitarianism veiled in the demand for universal human sameness, now it’s a 19th century aesthetic fantasy about agriculture.

Paul Roberts is another writer who finds much to admire in Cuba. His book The End of Food (2008) is a paean to the banishing of the evil tractor and the awful fertilizer, the wonderful diversity, the docile oxen chewing their cud, the peasants happily hoeing as peasants ought to do. Roberts quotes McKibben to the effect that this concentration on labor-intensive agriculture is a wee bit more possible in a police state than it would be elsewhere. After all, Cuba had lots of excess labor and the ability to move it where it was needed without too many scruples.
Peasants are supposed to be peasants and struggle, after all, and we should all be coerced, if not forced into being peasants. That way we can all die by the dim light of the permanent revolution.
Sustainable, largely organic, community-based, and healthy food production in post-Soviet Cuba is offered by critics of "industrial agriculture" as an example of the sort of system that we should aspire to in the United States. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of Soviet subsidies for Cuba's sugar industry in the early 1990s, a near famine forced Cubans to radically change what they consumed and the manner in which it was produced. By 1993, per capita calorie consumption in Cuba had been cut by a third from the Soviet-subsidized level.
That’s for one simple reason, the same one that makes the bong-jockeys in universities believe that under communism there was plenty: there wasn’t. What there was, was a system disposed to producing the gravest environmental disaster zone in history: an agricultural and industrial environment where the value of all things was arbitrary because there was no real market to determine how to deal with the impact of creating goods, the costs of inputs and resources, and the like. Contributing, of course, is the unexamined leftist fantasy of government control of production combined with government regulation of safety practices. Call it an externality and that inherent feature of the human spirit is corrected for! If government is inherently good, then by magical the armies of people hired into it will be nothing but selfless. If “the new man” was supposed to correct for all of that greed stuff, why did generations of Communism not produce a single new man if it placed so much value of him?

Step number one will be to force the entire population between the ages of 14 and 74 to join the Future Farmers of America.

Friday, March 20, 2009

After Humiliation Became "Torture", Terrorism Becomes "Man-Caused Disaster"

How Orwellian can you get?! How far must you go to vilify America and the free world while seeking excuses for their every foe?!

While (intense) humiliation of (very unsavory) prisoners became "torture", terrorism now becomes "Man-Caused Disaster"…

Can You Smell the Nuance?

There's More Gallic brilliance here than you can shake a stick at. ’Recovery’ is sounding worse and worse as an option for the future of Dirigisme, SA:

SANDOUVILLE, France -- Renault SA's factory in this Normandy town is one of the car maker's most unproductive in the world. Yet it has no choice but to keep the assembly line running.
The “justice” part of that one in the great inspired continental minds, is that mass layoffs are not permitted, but operations making the most losses may not be shut down, and the cost of gross alteration is seen as prohibitive with that boot on ones’ neck as well.

Related: the great creative intellects of the Universities, those shining lights and leaders of the future are defining their own justice. Those crazy kids call it “autoréduction”, or instant discount – known by thieves everywhere as the five finger special it’s the new euphemism for rationalized shoplifting. Presumed to be about some Robin Hood tale, the most popular items are electronics, and we all know how the hungry waifs of the welfare state need a USB thumb drive.
The Carrefour in Rennes was invaded yesterday by some 300 students, who invited customers to take their items free of charge, the value of the goods stolen is estimated at €10.000, as reported today by

"The value is so high because young people were stealing things like DVD players, USB thumb drives, mobile phones, and alcohol," repoerted The national executive of the Carrefour group has decided to file a complaint against
[their organization].
Stragely enough, one heroic tale of liberation actually involved groceries – one report indicating that...
Their carts are chock full of wonderful food: salmon, foie gras, but also pasta, oil and potatoes. They justified their refusal to pay, as reported by Le Parisien:

"It's an automatic requisition which is just in these times of crisis and also allows us to celebrate this percarious New Year’s Eve with dignity."
The place in question is a Monoprix in the Marais district of Paris on Saint-Antoine near Metro Saint-Paul this past December. The groceries (alimentation) section is in the basement. One can only wonder if these brave, generous, and caring college punks availed themselves of the use of the elevator to transport their new-found dignity home. After all, “libre” is far more likely to mean “not in use” than free – in any relevant sense of the word. So by extension the old saw that “if it ain’t bolted down, it’s yours’” has now been redefined to include the stuff on store shelves, and is all part of that drive for social justice.

They sure are hope of man, the leaders of the future, and all that, aren’t they?

They’ve grown up in a society that puts a premium on blurring the lines between institutionalized theft and an honest living, much as they really don’t blink at the notion of corporate welfare, price-fixing, and the creative creation of shortages and living by economic falsehoods.

From another location assumed to be a depriver of goods due to wanting you to exchange cash for their wares. How dare they.

Apologies to the readers

Sincere apologies to our readers for not posting anything on this particular incident. At our afternoon editorial staff meeting yesterday it just did not register to any of us as "news":

Schools, courts, post offices, universities and hospitals were closed, with public transport severely disrupted, as up to 200 marches were organised against President Nicolas Sarkozy's approach to the global downturn.

The biggest protests were in Paris, where police said up to 85,000 people took five hours to walk from Place de la République to Place de la Nation. As the light faded, hundreds of riot police were sent to the area where anarchist groups waving revolutionary flags were among those massing. Riot police fired rounds of tear gas after demonstrators lit fires and smashed shop windows. Fighting broke out on all corners of the square, with police moving in to try to arrest ring leaders.
Paris, strikes, violenece, irrational demands? Is that it?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Faced with Novel Threats From "the Masses of Euro-Asian Colussi", Says the Father of France's First Laser Weapon, Europe Must Acquire a Nuclear Shield

While Patrick Roger points out the differences between three prime ministers (Lionel Jospin, Laurent Fabius, and François Fillon) on Nicolas Sarkozy's reintegration with the Atlantic Alliance, Laurent Zecchini explains what, concretely, will change with France's return to NATO.

Meanwhile, Bernard Lavarini explains the necessities (among others, "la pression croissante des énormes masses politiques et spirituelles de l'Eurasie dotées d'armes de destruction massive") for Europe to acquire a nuclear shield — which (needless to say, and in spite of a number of anti-American statements) upsets France's trademark pacifists.
…sur l'échiquier mondial, les risques d'appropriation de la France par un fort sont devenus improbables. Par contre, parmi tous les risques que la France devra affronter, le risque de destruction pourrait croître lorsque les colosses euroasiatiques seront en situation de disputer l'hégémonie aux Etats-Unis. A ce moment-là, ces colosses pourraient, en cas de conflit majeur, s'aventurer au-delà du champ borné de la raison occidentale, en acceptant le risque de représailles, parce qu'ils n'attachent pas le même prix à la vie. La France, comme membre de l'Alliance, pourrait alors ne pas échapper à ce conflit.

…Face à ces risques, les Etats-Unis jugent que ni leur glaive nucléaire seul, ni un bouclier antimissile seul ne suffiraient à leur assurer la sûreté stratégique. Leur bouclier sera capable de neutraliser une salve d'une vingtaine de missiles balistiques. A plus long terme, grâce à l'emploi d'armes laser et d'intercepteurs Multiple Kills Vehicules (MKV), il pourra neutraliser une salve de près de 1 000 missiles et limiter la destruction de la population américaine à quelques pour cent, très loin des 160 millions de morts en six heures que pourraient connaître les Etats-Unis sans le bouclier.

…si nous ne renforcions pas notre instrument stratégique dissuasif, comme le font les Etats-Unis, nous pourrions être entraînés dans une spirale infernale. Que ferions-nous dans le cas où l'autre, par une première frappe, viendrait à détruire Marseille et Strasbourg, à l'aide de trois ou quatre missiles, à titre d'avertissement ? Peut-on imaginer un peuple d'Europe qui, ainsi attaqué, serait néanmoins unanime pour riposter atomiquement, quitte à s'attirer d'effroyables représailles ? A tous n'apparaîtra-t-il pas plus sage d'accepter la perte des quelques agglomérations déjà atomisées et de négocier pour sauver le reste ?

A quoi servirait une riposte nucléaire qui ne pourrait priver l'adversaire de moyens d'achever son oeuvre de destruction ? A quoi bon raser certaines de ses cités si, décidé à venger ces destructions, il écrasait alors le pays ayant riposté à coups de "massue thermonucléaire", comme le dit le général Gallois ? La raison commanderait que l'on rengaine les mégatonnes et que l'on discute d'un modus vivendi. Le recours à la capitulation serait d'autant plus logique et probable que la disproportion des forces serait plus grande entre l'assaillant et l'assailli ! Voilà pourquoi il nous faudrait empêcher cette première frappe d'avertissement grâce à l'emploi d'un bouclier antimissile multicouche.

Jacques Chirac: A "Very Sympathique" Letter From Monsieur Obama

Barack Obama and those who voted for him would be horrified if he (and they) had to cozy up to people (but can we only be sure they are in fact human?!) such as George W Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Sarah Palin, but the president has no compunction about writing to principled foreigners who opposed the United States such as Jacques Chirac (merci à RV).
Le président américain vient d'adresser une lettre «très sympathique » à Jacques Chirac, selon l'expression de ce dernier. «Je suis certain que nous pourrons au cours des quatre années à venir collaborer ensemble dans un esprit de paix et d'amitié afin de construire un monde plus sûr» , écrit le successeur de George W. Bush au prédécesseur de Nicolas Sarkozy. En évoquant le mot de « paix», Obama rend un hommage implicite à l'action de l'ancien président français qui s'était opposé à la guerre en Irak. Une intervention américaine contre laquelle le futur président américain s'était opposé comme sénateur, lors du vote au Congrès.
Thankfully, if many are, not all Frenchmen are duly impressed…

Franck Nouchi has more in Le Monde

The ties that bind

Despite these comments by a venerated adherent of the quasi-religion of Governmentalism, fear not as he has not left the Church:

Protest and direct action could be the only way to tackle soaring carbon emissions, a leading climate scientist has said.

James Hansen, a climate modeller with Nasa, told the Guardian today that corporate lobbying has undermined democratic attempts to curb carbon pollution. "The democratic process doesn't quite seem to be working," he said.

Speaking on the eve of joining a protest against the headquarters of power firm E.ON in Coventry, Hansen said: "The first action that people should take is to use the democratic process. What is frustrating people, me included, is that democratic action affects elections but what we get then from political leaders is greenwash.
Brother Hansen maintains a (the?) key stricture of the Church, authoritarianism ... All is forgiven.

Secretly hating humanity starts with hating one another.

The EU, at best, has a kind of camaraderie akin to the Stockholm syndrome more than anything else. If it wasn’t the common hatred of others, particularly Americans and people who are ethnically too different looking, the only thing that keeps them together is a fear of people from the 3rd world will realize that there is no reason to admire them for no reason other than their nationality. The fact is that despite decades of peace (guaranteed to them by the outside world), a huge number of Europeans have loony prejudices about other Europeans that would make the Hatfields and McCoys Hutus and Tutsis look thoughtful and gentle. It’s a centuries-long portrait in fear and loathing if there ever was one, and it’s at the root of everything they call “culture”.

In a follow-up to the article we link above, the author at the Daily Candor had this to add after the obvious backlash of “how dare you” hatemail oured in:

There were a handful of people who didn’t hesitate to tell me that I was completely ignorant and was completely in the dark about Europeans. They were vastly outnumbered by those who agreed with me completely.

I was amused by those who confirmed exactly those national stereotypes I had written about
Of course there’s always this old favorite guide to doping out the colors this season.

All you need is a little more hair of the dog that bit you

From the "alcoholics agree - other people are not drinking heavily enough is the problem" file.

Unfortunately the initial moment of clarity :

The European Union staunchly defended its unwillingness to spend more to escape the slowdown on Wednesday...
Reverts to form and finds itself at the bottom of yet another tall glass:

...and urged the United States and Asia to match its generous welfare safety nets.
No doubt the governmentalist serving wenches agree with the last round served. The latest vintage of governmentalism on display for all to see:

Yesterday, it was revealed that in the three years to March 2008 at least 400 more patients died at the Stafford hospital than would have been expected at an average hospital of its size and case mix. The Healthcare Commission's chairman, Sir Ian Kennedy, described it as a story of "appalling standards of care and chaotic systems for looking after patients ... There were inadequacies at almost every stage". The patients died at a time when the hospital was trying to achieve foundation status, which would signify that it was rated as one of the leading NHS hospitals in the UK.
Like any other deluded rummy*, governmentalists will no doubt point to the above as a clear-cut case calling for "more government, not less!" No need to worry about the tab though. Our governmentalistic-minded sousers have no qualms about putting the whole thing on your tab. They said you wouldn't mind.

* with apologies to any legitimate rummy for the comparison

Update: TDK provides the stark perspective. Note, stark.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The EU is UA, and Looking to the Nascent AU

Too little too late, and otherwise useless. Now the glorious “EUFOR” deployment in Chad is dumping it on the lap of someone else under the aegis of the UN, which sounds a lot better than giving it over to the put-upon low-budget armies of the developing world as they are so fond of doing, except for the Irish and Poles in this case who actually get it. At least European gets to pretend that they ”made a difference” after one year - and can now ceremonially transferring their power largely to themselves and changing hats for no clear reason that the Janjaweed would care about in the least.

Newcomers include African, Asian and European countries alike, namely from Ghana, Nepal, Norway and Togo.
Click here for a EU funded Euranet radio report which managed to not gloss over the futility of the endeavor, but manages to forget that the Europeans kept saying that they were going to be the cavalry to the rescue, but stalled what they insisted was a necessary, life-saving deployment for 4 years. It must have been America’s fault. Now there’s hardly a soul to protect.

Of course now that they’re bailing out, they have no problem using one of their exclusive transnational proxy instruments to poke the Khartoum government in the eye. Now that the useless stunt of issuing an International Criminal Court “warrant” for the Sudanese leader’s arrest will come at little cost to their image now that the royal blue flags are swapped out for a seasonal baby blue, but possibly at great cost to those populations being hunted down in Sudan.

Gun Control Helps Keep the Violence Down

It's good that there are some societies on this planet that practice gun control, so that their adherents (and their élites) can give lessons to those clueless Neanderthals otherwise known as American citizens…

More Evidence of the Superiority of French Jails

In Le Monde, Anne Rohou gives us yet more evidence of the superiority of French jails over American ones.
Fréquents, les viols commis en prison font rarement l'objet de plaintes : la honte des victimes et la peur des représailles nourrissent la loi du silence.

"Le viol en prison ? C'est banal, indique [Frédéric D., 24 ans]. Mais tout le monde s'en fiche. Il n'a pas la même ampleur qu'à l'extérieur."
Because the penitentiary administration misunderstood a judge's report in one particular case (taking "risques d'atteinte à l'intégrité physique" to mean suicidal instead of likely to be raped), they decided that a prisoner, a self-declared homosexual, ought to share with his cell with another prisoner.
Tragique méprise.

Hardships in Afghanistan and Guantánamo? Better than French Projects and French Prisons!

The situation in France's cités and jails has gotten so bad that even Plantu is taking potshots at them, comparing them unfavorably (!) to …Afghanistan and Guantánamo!

In Tuesday's Le Monde, two French soldiers "somewhere in Afghanistan" say to one another "Don't complain! We could have been transferred to France… to certain cités" (to certain urban projects).

Under the heading "There is a life after Guantanamo" in Wednesday's Le Monde, a French inmate taking leave of the Cuban base detention center for other horizons says: "Anywhere will do, as long as it isn't a French prison!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

France Votes to Reintegrate the NATO Alliance

By 329 votes to 228, the Assemblée Nationale voted to allow France to reintegrate NATO after an absence of 43 years.
"La France, alliée mais pas vassale, fidèle mais insoumise, toujours fraternelle mais jamais subordonnée : voilà la nature de notre relation avec l'Amérique", avait poursuivi le chef du gouvernement estimant que "l'amitié ne se confond pas avec la naïveté".
"France, an ally but not a vassal, faithful but unsubdued, always fraternal but never subservient: that is the nature of our relationship with America", declared Prime Minister François Fillon, adding that "friendship is not to be confused with naiveté".

Sounds friendly, non? Meanwhile, the socialists' Lionel Jospin, Laurent Fabius, and Martine Aubry are launching broadsides at Nicolas Sarkozy and his government, as is the French population, if Le Monde's readers (and No Pasarán's) are any indication…

Previously, both Dominique de Villepin and Hubert Védrine were on record for opposing NATO reintegration. Principle? Self-serving principles when you listen to their (and numerous French citizens') reasons: when asked whether France's position on NATO up until now wasn't akin to having the advantages and not the hassles of participation, Hubert Védrine answered, "Indeed … why change this advantageous position?"

When reminded that the Jacques Chirac's government had attempted to reintegrate NATO in the 1990s while he was a member of the Élysée, Dominique de Villepin pointed out that that was after the fall of the Berlin Wall (and the end of the Cold War) but before 911. For Villepin and his ilk, in other words, the (self-serving) French motto could be: when our allies (our friends) do not need us, it's fine to join an association (an alliance); when they do need us, it's time to stay away…

France on joining NATO or not: When our friends do not need us, it's fine to join an alliance; when they do need us, we need to stay away

While Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner follows Nicolas Sarkozy in defending the government's decision to reintegrate NATO after 43 years, Lionel Jospin insists that France must "remain original" on the international scene and Dominique de Villepin states that France must not restrict her ambitions.

When pressed by Françoise Fressoz and Patrick Roger, who point out that Jacques Chirac considered reintegrating NATO while Villepin was sécrétaire général de l'Élysée, Villepin answers that
Oui, mais c'était en 1995, dans un contexte très particulier, juste après la chute du mur de Berlin, l'effondrement de l'URSS et la fin de la guerre froide. Les attentats du 11 septembre et la guerre en Irak ont changé la donne.
For Villepin and his ilk, in other words, when our allies (our friends) do not need us, it's fine to join an association (an alliance); when they do need us, it's time to stay away…

Prime Minister François Fillon adds his two centimes' worth; He chose to engage his government's responsibility on Tuesday, in order to avoid having the Assemblée Nationale vote on the NATO subject…

In an answer to one of the questions in a chat with readers, meanwhile, Hubert Védrine seems to show that Villepin's (self-serving) viewpoint is the majority view in France…
La position de la France vis-à-vis de l'OTAN n'était-elle pas comparable à celle de l'Angleterre vis-à-vis de l'Europe ? En avoir les avantages sans les inconvénients .

En effet, on peut comparer. Pourquoi donc changer cette position avantageuse ?

But You Still Can’t Say it

Barack Obama’s economic ideas are perfectly in line with that of European Socialist, who have made a practice of mortgaging the future for the present for decades and enabled more elitist cronyism than Louis XVI. But don’t call him a socialist, you big meanie!

French Forces in Afghanistan's Tora Fortress: "We're Going to Stay, We're Going to Hold Out"

As the ICG states that dialog with the Taliban is inefficient and as leftists go ballistic because, Laurent Gervereau states, every picture from Afghanistan allegedly looks like every picture from Algeria, Natalie Nougayrède reports in Le Monde on a French contingent in Afghanistan's Tora fortress.
Accrochée à son flanc de montagne, la base de Tora a triplé de taille, et été entièrement reconstruite par les forces de l'OTAN. A l'époque de l'occupation soviétique, elle servait déjà de lieu de cantonnement.

L'épisode s'était mal terminé pour les Russes : les moudjahidins avaient fini par l'investir. "Il y a une certaine histoire ici, disent les Français, barricadés dans les lieux. On en tient compte."

…"On reste, on va tenir."

Another one of those stories which simply does not exist....

....officially speaking of course:

Union members tend to believe that most workers want to join a labor union. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 47% of union members hold that view while only 18% disagree.

But those who don’t belong to a union hold a different perspective. By a 56% to 14% margin, they believe that most workers do not want to belong to a union.

As for personal preference, only nine percent (9%) of non-union workers would like to join a union. Eighty-one percent (81%) would not.
Unsurprisingly our governmental betters are rather out of touch on this topic too:

Government employees are far more likely to believe that most workers want to belong to a union. Thirty-five percent (35%) of government employees hold this view, while 33% disagree and 32% are not sure. Among those who work in the private sector, just 16% believe most workers want to belong to a union while 53% disagree.

Jail Break!

The best laid plans of mice mink and men:

Animal rights activists released approximately 2,500 mink from a mink farm in the southern town of Stavenisse on Saturday night. However, said the Public Prosecutor's Office, nearly all the animals were recaptured shortly afterwards. Some were run down and killed on local roads.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Le Monde’s Best Chance is a Model for Failure

Unlike the local and regional papers, the national French newspapers are spiraling into a freefall much as many others are worldwide, only worse because the general-interest national papers are so few in number.

French papers should, some pundits say, be more serious, achieve worldwide recognition, and above all have more content (the weekend edition of Libération, one of the three main French newspapers, is only 40 pages, a far cry from the two-kilo Sunday edition of the LA Times). But since these papers are facing crisis too, French papers and their critics in dire need of a new model. Alain Minc, a former Le Monde director and now a close adviser of Nicolas Sarkozy, long maintained that if French newspapers were failing it was because of their lack of resemblance to the New York Times.
You read that right. More like that smoldering heap, the NYT.
Le Monde, Libération and Le Figaro have between them made 200 people redundant in the past three years. Libération, which has been operating at a loss for several years, is being put in an awkward situation by an employee who is refusing to accept redundancy. L'Humanité, the communist daily paper, is closer to collapse than it has ever been.

Sarkozy recently organised a general meeting for the press to share his vision of what the papers should do and issue a pronouncement. This much-vaunted reform essentially consists of giving the established daily newspapers more subsidies in the years to come – which could only have the effect of postponing their collapse. He has, for instance, announced an increase in presidential advertising in the press and has granted papers certain tax exemptions. The rather more dramatic move to give every 18-year-old in the country a one-year subscription to a daily paper (to encourage them to appreciate the press) is perhaps the only measure that might have a longer term effect.
It must be hard for the natives to appreciate the extremism in these decisions: an employee who insists that they cannot be let go, shaking the plausibility of the press by putting it on the government payroll, and giving it away to 18 year olds like the advertisers handed out in public transit that have a scant few items and a weather map. This “once grand” industry – a cultural institution or sorts is at the end of its’ rope and can’t move forward along the lines of even the French language press in Canada. The problem starts with a paucity of content, and an expensive cover price, but the racketeering quality of the state of distribution means that newspapers can’t be sold in vending boxes, in grocery stores, or anyone other than the Tabac newsstands and some bookstores just to avoid strikes and service shut-downs by those that have always distributed and sold them. If anything, they are being killed by socialism.

Meanwhile, back in the department of your fungible freedoms...
If the BBC learns generosity, it can become untouchable

To survive the recession, the corporation must place itself at the centre of an unselfish cultural network
Meanwhile in the UK, even the news branches of the electronic media are being subtly consolidated in all but name only. BBC and ITV already share from the same talent pool and predispositions, now they’re to share regional facilities. Owing to the obvious fact that subsidy-drawing people and the unsubsidized will be sharing space in the same newsrooms, the obvious next move will be a merging of budgets and expenses. Using inferences too secondary and unrelated to be real, lefty parasite Jackie Ashley (whose headline is quoted above) thinks that this move is otay for all manner of emotional reasons but blithe to any notion of what effect this could have on the freedom of the press.
Yet this BBC-ITV link is big news. I trained at the BBC, but I spent many years working for ITN and Channel 4 news. I wouldn't quite say we hated the BBC, but we were vigorous and aggressive rivals who thought we were better in almost every way - sharper, faster and much less stuffy. Even at local level the new partnership will feel uneasy for a lot of journalists, and it is unclear how well it will work.
and now you can kiss that goodbye. A job down memory lane reminds me just how frequently it was that the communists of the Soviet era invoked the “efficiency” argument when faced with any discussion of the excessive concentration of powers in any area or the benefits of plurality of opinion, and it was as awkward and clumsy in tone as Ashley’s argument.

Ballad of the Green Beret

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Red-meat for US protectionists

This ought to get the delocalisation/protectionist crowd in the US ginned-up and ready to go, unfortunately:

American International Group Inc., the insurer saved from collapse by a U.S. taxpayer bailout, said Societe Generale of France and Deutsche Bank AG of Germany led a group of 20 foreign and U.S. banks that received billions of dollars in collateral payments after the rescue.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and France's Calyon, were also among recipients of $22.4 billion, AIG said as it released the list for the first time today. AIG had previously said collateral recipients couldn’t be named because of confidentiality requirements.

There are Good Reasons to Want Carville to Fail Too

It seems that James Carville for reasons his fellow mental captives will call forgivable, seems to have repeatedly hoped President Bush would fail. This makes him no different than any other one of the left’s many punters and Tourette’s Syndrome suffers over the 8 years they criticized as the dreaded dark era of Bush where the peasant’s wells were poisoned and their children gored for the pleasure of anyone who didn’t agree with them.

Having met Carville man in a Virginia coffee shop several times, I found it to be like trying to converse with a chicken, even if about banal matters. The man just HAS to try to get you to repeat his opinion back to you, and the one thing that I’m sure drove him off for good was me just reading the paper and not offering to entertain him. To me, he seemed no different than the attention-seeking losers and drunks who tumble into non-chain coffee places in the hope of faking some sort of social life employing the strangers who don’t quite know them yet.

Moreover, he tries to use so many colloquial images, characters whom he seems to try to step into, that to take his nature in person and try o square it with his manner in from of the media, he seems patently fake. He is NOT folksy. He is not a forceful bundle of elfin energy, charm, or the constructive, engaged sort that is associated with provincial American life or “regional cool”. He is by no means more rotten than your average politico, but he isn’t who he wants you to think he is. One can’t expect much from a political advisor, professional traveler, and symposium attender, but to say that he’s some belvedere of decency in comparison to Rush Limbaugh is an impossible stretch.

That aside, his highly self-absorbed and vicious outward nature described in this report doesn’t surprise me, much as the fake outrage directed at Rush by the left over his one mention that he wanted Obama’s policies to fail.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, just minutes before learning of the terrorist attacks on America, Democratic strategist James Carville was hoping for President Bush to fail, telling a group of Washington reporters: "I certainly hope he doesn't succeed."

Carville was joined by Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, who seemed encouraged by a survey he had just completed that revealed public misgivings about the newly minted president.

"We rush into these focus groups with these doubts that people have about him, and I'm wanting them to turn against him," Greenberg admitted.

The pollster added with a chuckle of disbelief: "They don't want him to fail. I mean, they think it matters if the president of the United States fails."

Minutes later, as news of the terrorist attacks reached the hotel conference room where the Democrats were having breakfast with the reporters, Carville announced: "Disregard everything we just said! This changes everything!"
Rally around the nation, and all that! At least for now when it has to look that way...

I want the White House’s policies to fail too, because they are bad for the country. Every last cute-sounding euphemism they have for an initiative is meant to enlarge the role of government and increase it’s control over the individual’s life and choices. Having lived behind the iron curtain, I am familiar enough with the sentiment and where that tendency can lead a society. Impirically, there is no reason to support Obama’s policies, even if you agree with his world view, or even just like him, there is no reason to believe that anyone can berate and browbeat you into wanting those policies to succeed. None. No-one with a mind should feel compelled to agree with something they have reservations about for the reasons that the left are trying to give you to.
That omission stands in stark contrast to the feeding frenzy that ensued when radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said he wanted President Obama to fail. The press devoted wall-to-wall coverage to the remark, suggesting that Limbaugh and, by extension, conservative Republicans, were unpatriotic.
If your only reason to cite your attachment to the society you live in, and to be protective of it, is to employ some political stunt or jam some racketeering-like budget through, then you are certainly not patriotic, and show no affection for the society you live in at all. Zero. Zip. The population knows this, but Democratic operators like Carville don’t. At best they know how to fake an accent, and wax on about high-school memories, but it’s deeply arrogant to believe that these setups are taken at their face value as much as Al Gore who grew up in Washington’s Mayflower Hotel is “through and through” a good neighbor from Tennessee.

Then again, I suppose there are many in that steamy world who really are afraid that if they will actually show themselves for who they are, that they won’t be liked.

Nicolas Sarkozy sur l'OTAN : Il faut en finir avec l'illusion qu'en nous mettant la tête dans le sable, nous nous protégeons de quoi que ce soit

La France sait aussi qui sont ses alliés et qui sont ses amis
said Nicolas Sarkozy during a March 11 speech reaffirming his commitment to have France rejoin NATO:
nos amis et nos alliés, c'est d'abord la famille occidentale. Les conditions de l'indépendance, c'est d'abord de savoir où est sa famille.
In spite of that strong beginning, France's president went on to speak of the necessity of a strong Europe (not a strong West nor a strong NATO).
Pour être forte, notre défense doit aussi être indépendante (…). Il nous faut une Europe forte. Construire l'Europe de la défense et de la sécurité est une priorité absolue. L'Europe doit s'affirmer dans le monde, comme elle l'a fait l'été dernier dans la crise géorgienne. (…) Car qu'est-ce qu'une grande puissance économique qui n'aurait pas les capacités militaires de défendre ses intérêts ? Et comment parler d'une voix de l'Europe si celle-ci doit se taire quand les armes parlent ? Les Européens doivent pouvoir agir par eux-mêmes si c'est nécessaire, et avec leurs alliés s'ils le décident.

…En 2009, il s'agit de tirer les conséquences de la construction européenne, de nouvelles menaces et de nouvelles priorités stratégiques. Mais avec le même objectif historique : assurer la sécurité et l'influence de la France, dans le respect de l'indépendance nationale et de notre autonomie stratégique
Nicolas Sarkozy seems to go on to take on France's obstructionism and anti-Americanism by the horns.
L'ambition française pour la défense européenne a longtemps suscité la méfiance en Europe et en Amérique. Aux yeux de beaucoup, la France, en poussant la défense européenne, cherchait à affaiblir le lien transatlantique et l'Alliance. Un antiaméricanisme stérile renforçait trop souvent cette perception.
But he goes on to blame …France's Non to the Lisbon treaty (!?). Later:
Notre éloignement proclamé mais non réalisé avec l'OTAN limite notre indépendance nationale. J'avais dit l'année dernière que ce mouvement vers l'Alliance passait d'abord par une relance de la défense européenne. C'est fait.

…Rappelons-le : nous sommes membres fondateurs de l'Alliance atlantique, née il y a soixante ans exactement. Nous ne l'avons jamais quittée. Elle est et reste un élément central de notre politique de défense et de sécurité, avec un engagement fondamental : celui de l'assistance mutuelle en cas d'agression. Et ce n'est certainement pas les Français qui vont s'inquiéter d'avoir un accord avec les Etats-Unis au cas où nous serions agressés, alors que les Américains sont venus nous sauver deux fois !

…Depuis 1966, la France s'est rapprochée de l'OTAN par étapes, mais le plus souvent sans le dire. … Notre position n'est pas comprise de nos alliés. Notre incapacité à assumer au grand jour notre position dans l'Alliance jette le doute sur nos objectifs. Résultat, nous avons une Alliance qui n'est pas assez européenne et une Europe de la défense qui ne progressait pas comme nous l'espérions.

Nous n'avons aucun poste militaire de responsabilité. Nous n'avons pas notre mot à dire quand les Alliés définissent les objectifs et les moyens militaires pour les opérations auxquelles nous participons ! Formidable ! On envoie des soldats sur le terrain, et on ne participe pas aux comités qui définissent une telle stratégie ! Et tout ceci de notre propre fait, car nous nous excluons nous-mêmes. L'OTAN est la seule organisation internationale du monde où la France ne cherche pas à être présente et influente !

…Naturellement, nous allons conserver notre dissuasion nucléaire indépendante. Et nous conserverons notre liberté d'appréciation sur l'envoi de nos troupes. Et nous ne placerons pas de contingent en permanence sous commandement allié en temps de paix. Ces principes posés par le Livre blanc, je les ai faits miens. Et rien dans l'OTAN d'aujourd'hui ne les contredit.

…Nous voulons une Alliance ouverte aux nations de l'espace euro-atlantique. Mais notre Alliance n'est pas une auberge : y entrer, cela implique de partager nos valeurs, de pouvoir en assumer les responsabilités et de contribuer effectivement à la sécurité des alliés et à la stabilité du continent.

Nous voulons reconstruire une relation de partenariat avec la Russie, si celle-ci le souhaite, et débattre avec elle de la sécurité de notre continent. On ne va pas laisser les Etats-Unis et la Russie discuter tranquillement dans leur coin de la sécurité sur notre continent!
While Frédéric Bozo points out in Le Monde that both Mitterrand and Chirac tried to have France rejoin the Atlantic Alliance (he goes on to — diplomatically — accuse the Americans of treachery ["la non-intégration française dans la structure militaire et dans certains organes politico-militaires a été utilisée par les Américains pour stigmatiser encore davantage la politique française et entretenir le soupçon d'une France congénitalement anti-américaine"]), Nicolas Sarkozy takes on General de Gaulle (and even, perhaps, indirectly, France's African policies), accusing his Gaullist critics (among others, Dominique de Villepin) of speaking "lies" and "shameful lies":
Certains me disent que ce choix serait une trahison du général de Gaulle. Un "alignement sur Washington". Une remise en cause de notre vocation à dialoguer avec la Russie ou les pays du Sud. Ou encore que la France s'engagerait dans une "guerre des civilisations" contre les musulmans. Et même que, si nous avions été dans le commandement intégré, nous aurions été forcés de participer à la guerre contre l'Irak en 2003 ! Mensonges ! Mensonges ! Contrevérités !

Qui peut prétendre savoir ce que ferait aujourd'hui le général de Gaulle ? Et croit-on qu'il aurait fait en 1966 la politique de 1923 ? Oui, nous sommes les alliés des Etats-Unis, mais des amis debout, des alliés indépendants et des partenaires libres. J'assume que dans le monde moderne on doit pouvoir changer des décisions prises il y aura bientôt cinquante ans. Faudrait-il, au nom de l'héritage gaulliste, renoncer au traité de non-prolifération que de Gaulle rejetait ? Ou refuser que nos amis allemands stationnent un régiment en France ? Et ne rien toucher à nos accords de défense avec l'Afrique et y conserver des bases obsolètes ?

Meanwhile, Le Monde's readers react with vehemence to Le Monde's editorial and to Laurent Zecchini's article on the return to NATO (remember, this is from those who call Yanks their "amis américains" — barely one person to point out that "Le geste de Mars ‘66 a été reçu comme une trahison dans les pays occupés par l’ex URSS").
  • La France ne doit pas s'engager dans des guerres qui ne sont pas les siennes!
  • Rentrer dans l'Otan, c'est perdre la 3ème voix de l'Europe, dont les chances de devenir politique sont de plus en plus hypothétique.
  • La France dans l'OTAN... Comment admettre une telle infamie?
  • L'otan reste un repli néo-con
  • L'empire anglo-saxon ferme ses rangs pour diriger la planète!
  • Savez vous que ce sont des MP américains qui vont assurer la sécurité à Strasbourg?
  • Une belle trahison, en fait !
  • un assujettissement aux USA
  • les Etats-Unis auront-ils encore longtemps les moyens de leur leadership ?
  • Nous y gagnons de nous ligoter à une puissance en déclin, qui se fout de ses alliés et dont les intérêts ne sont pas les nôtres(moyen orient).
  • Et alors chers Militaires, ça ne vous fait rien de voir l'Armée française - que vous avez choisi de servir - devenir la branche francophone d'une multinationale de mercenaires du Grand Capital, prenant ses ordres à Washington ?