Saturday, May 16, 2009

How words and phrases lose their value

Formerly, there were a whole raft of words and phrases which actually meant something (e.g. racist, fascist, bigot, progressive, environmentalist, etc.) of value. Through overuse and misuse these words and phrases now mean precisely nothing. Cough in the wrong direction, fascist! Scratch yourself the wrong way, bigot! You get the picture.

Next up in the race to meaninglessness, "human rights". Exhibit A, think of how companies and firms organise themselves: corporation, limitied liability corporation, partnership, etc. Great, what does that have to do with human rights? Well, unless one is so befouled with the statist/anti-capitalist mindset, not much. However, there are those howling statists who see how firms organise themselves as "an abuse of human rights":

There is no reason why anyone using limited liability anywhere should be afforded anonymity: the very idea is an abuse of human rights.
Yup, this is how meaningful and truly descriptive words and phrases lose their value.

Perfunctory Explanation to Follow

In a Lisbon suburb, Bela Vista, Setúbal, police shoot someone who later died of his injuries, and Portugal gets to join Europe in earnest. Immigrants and minorities in suburban ghettos explode in anger, and another tired class warfare argument is rolled out as quickly as Pavlov’s dog can drool.

Suburbs and suburbanites just combust. Didn’t you know? Doesn’t that happen everywhere?

Of course we all know the place exuded with culture, so let’s move on, shall we? A simple ‘Imigrantes vs Polícia’ Kabuki of pitiable explanations doesn’t explain everything, bu that doesn’t mean that, as was the case in Greece earlier this year, that political parties won’t try to exploit the sad situation. The ‘innocent youth’ shot by police, over which this rioting started, had a record as long as his arm.

Friday, May 15, 2009

One Vision

Forget about Christmas, this is the one true time of the year which brings all humanity together .... Eurovision finals.

Soon to be Renamed ‘Paradise on Earth’ for Marketing Purposes

And they will surely name the conference and campaign after another city. One wonders when the windbags will run out, and resort to naming treaties, "declarations", and "processes" after forests, intersections, and railroad yards?

The EU nears its’ goal of having what they understand to be an ecologically sustainable economy.

Despite the fact that the financial crisis originally started in the United States, the North American country fared much better, registering a fall in growth for the first quarter of 2009 of 1.6 percent, highlighting the extremity of the European position.
Keep looking for your little blue pill, Lawnmower Man.

Morons Thinning Out the Herd for Themselves

Sometimes strange things happen when life imitates art.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An Ad Campaign That Would Appear to Be French

Three women in a Paris street (Rue Montorgueil) are featured in the ad for the song Baby Baby Baby by Make the Girl Dance, a rock group — as well as an ad — that would appear to be français (merci à Mathilde, Sarah, et Marine — ainsi qu'à Salomé)…

A sophisticated speed-trap

You my think the Intel/AMD case was all about consumer protection, sharp market practices, stifling innovation, etc. Maybe....

Obama’s trip to Dresden suggests that Nazi equivalence moralists and German revisionists of “Roosevelt’s war” have a friend in the White House

It would seem that, contrary to what NP predicted five weeks ago (You Think You've Seen Apologizing? Just Wait Until Barack Obama Heads for Japan…), the first fascist nation of World War II that the Apologizer-in-Chief will ask forgiveness from is not Japan but Germany

John Rosenthal points out that, offhand, it is "rather odd" that Obama — that would be the man who, if any, has nothing but a caricatured, shallow, and oversimplified knowledge of history — "would be planning a trip to Germany in connection with ceremonies marking" marking the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy.
But when one considers just where exactly in Germany Obama is headed, then the significance of the visit becomes more clear. There is some talk of Obama visiting the Buchenwald concentration camp outside Weimar, in whose liberation Obama’s great uncle Charlie Payne is famously supposed to have taken part. But the Buchenwald visit appears not to be the main event and indeed it can be presumed to have been included in discussions as something of an alibi.

The latest German reports suggest Obama’s principal German destination will be Dresden. …

The symbolic significance of a visit to Dresden by the American president — especially one undertaken in connection with a D-Day commemoration in France — may be missed by some Americans, but it is absolutely unmistakable for the German public. For Germans, Dresden is the symbol bar none of German suffering at the hands of the Allies. … The bombing of Dresden is commonly described as a “war crime” in German discussions.

Alleged crimes committed by the Allies against Germans and Germany have indeed become a sort of German literary obsession in recent years, with numerous books being devoted to the subject. … The rhetoric employed by [Jörg Friedrich] went so far as to suggest an equivalence between the Allied bombing of German cities and the genocidal conduct of Nazi Germany itself.

As a result of the passions provoked or released by Friedrich’s book, the expression “Bombing-Holocaust” has passed into the German lexicon. Although especially favored by so-called “extreme right” circles (i.e., more-or-less openly neo-Nazi ones), the term merely expresses what is implicit in ostensibly more mainstream discourse.

It is virtually unthinkable that Obama could give a speech in Dresden and not allude to the bombing of the city. … Moreover, for Obama to visit both Dresden and Buchenwald would suggest precisely the sort of outrageous parallels that have become commonplace in Germany at least since the publication of Friedrich’s The Fire.

…As bizarre as it may seem, President Obama’s impending trip to Dresden suggests that German revisionists [of “Roosevelt’s war”] have a friend in the White House.

As Victor Davis Hanson famously said,
Post-facto critics never tell us what they would have done instead — lay off the German cities and send more ground troops into a pristine Third Reich; don’t bomb, but invade, an untouched Japan in 1946; keep out of WWII entirely; or in its aftermath invade the Soviet Union?

The MSM's interpretation of heroism

A Harley rider is passing the zoo when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage
goes WND's joke of the day.
Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back, letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A New York Times reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter says, "Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I saw a man do in my whole life." The biker replies, "Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right."

The reporter says, "Well, I'm a journalist from the New York Times, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page... so, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?"

The biker replies, "I'm a U.S. Marine and a Republican."

The following morning the biker buys The New York Times to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on front page:


Ah, Those Fabulous, Worldly EUvians

Not only do they enjoy that old favorite, parroting meaningless statistics on passport holders, but they’re so well travelled.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mindless, Violent, Leftist Mouth Breathers at it Again

The flower of Belgium, nay, the flower of European productivity has an ugly habit of wanting to smash what it can’t take by force, even if it owes them nothing. Even those who imagine every worker who ever got a paycheck for their work are owed so much more for “building the company” even though they took no risks themselves, must have misgivings about the morons that rioted at ArcelorMittal’s headquarters during their stockholder’s meeting. Idiots.

Steel workers attacked ArcelorMittal’s headquarters during the annual shareholders’ meeting of the world’s biggest steelmaker Tuesday, setting off smoke bombs and breaking through the front door to protest temporary layoffs during the economic slump.
As an example of the cruelty they’re inflicting on the ‘proletariat’:
ArcelorMittal has cut production by half as the steel industry rapidly went from boom to bust late last year. The company has so far avoided major permanent layoffs but is offering voluntary redundancy to 9,000 of its 315,000 staff around the world.
Carrying idle employees notwithstanding, they must be ‘smashed’. In other words, they are so unionized in their mmentality, that in protesting against the commodities market, as if there was anything it could really do for them, they have to go ahead and destroy an employer that “has so far avoided major permanent layoffs.”

The Commonly held view of the hero: unemployable, will never get to the point where they will employ anyone else, and will never share their own good fortune with another soul. After all, the world owes THEM.

Can’t have that now, can we? A company bleeding from every pore owes them a job, and they’re doing their best to retain personnel, but notwithstanding they must suffer the barbarism of the attitude of Belgian and French Socialist attitude and ‘be smashed’.

Liege is very nearly a third world hole of destructive industrial attitudes, of people who believe that they are owed something be the rest of society from the day they’re born. Frankly, I think ArcelorMittal is being far too patient, since they clearly don’t want their own employers to succeed and remain a viable source of income for them.

Channeling Swaziland

Is it an “unregulated tax refuge”? A Masada for Europe’s free thinkers? The EU’s Lesotho-like Potemkin nation? Hell no, it’s Switzerland!

Faced with rising unemployment, the Swiss government is currently working on a dossier that would see limits imposed on the number of EU workers entering the landlocked alpine country.
Under bilateral accords signed with the EU, the Swiss government is entitled to limit the number of workers entering the country from the original EU15 member states, as well as from Cyprus and Malta, if unemployment rises above a certain threshold.
Entitled to control their borders?!? How DARE they!

You got that, right? The EU controls the conditions of immigration and residency in another nation state which isn’t a dependency. No wonder these clowns will always give the platform over to anyone who thinks the “Wesfalian notion” of the right of sovereign nations to govern themselves is somehow “dated”. They’re quietly in love with dictatorship, and see no problem with government coming from anyone BUT the people who are ruled by it. It’s almost to easy to say that it went from their history to something in the water.
Currently there are no restrictions on the number of EU workers that can take up job positions in Switzerland.
Never mind that the EU is dictating the terms of another nation’s sovereignty, they have America to wag their finger at. As for the Swiss, isn’t it time they turned their balls back in at the desk?.

E-Book of the Week

Frédéric Bastiat’s 19th century What is Free Trade? offers a refreshing look back on the origins of natural economic thought, and provided is with a benchmark to understand where a society can stray away from it.

We may here perceive that Nature, with more wisdom and foresight than the narrow and rigid system of the protectionists can suppose, does not permit the concentration of labor, and the monopoly of advantages, from which they draw their arguments as from an absolute and irremediable fact. It has, by means as simple as they are infallible, provided for dispersion, diffusion, mutual dependence, and simultaneous progress; all of which, your restrictive laws paralyze as much as is in their power, by their tendency towards the isolation of nations.

By this means they render much more decided the differences existing in the conditions of production; they check the self-levelling power of industry, prevent fusion of interests, neutralize the counterpoise, and fence in each nation within its own peculiar advantages and disadvantages.
The lessons offered by Bastiat are as timely as ever, just as the populist arguments trying to tug humanity away from the things that functionally make a free society free, we find the emotionalism of those notions have not changed. This is much like as we saw it recently on these pages when we spied into the sad acceptance of the oppressive subjugation of man to central authority that Edward Bellamy proposed as “progress” in the 19th century.

Then, as now, the emotionalized and buffoonish inversions of the nature of the way people behave in their self-interest is the tool of those who want to dictate upon others the terms upon which they want you to live for THEIR purposes. Then as now they do this without respect to the judgment of the individual or a trust of people in any substantive way. Bastiat’s dialog clearly indicates that the argument against those things that lets free societies BE free have not changed or advanced in complexity, they just managed to produce more mass graves, almost all of them on the European continent where an obscene degree of central authority has always been employed, even when there is little reason to.

What’s strikingly similar in those who oppose free trade imagine is that they seem to imagine that the world is static, and that all history has ended at the moment of their birth. The dynamism of a diverse world where you can’t necessarily anticipate every thought people have, or more to the point – to realize that they need not be fearful of it – are lost on them. It’s just too complex when charlatans offer the argument that there is some way to get something for nothing by way of the use of government’s power.

Claude Frédéric Bastiat lives, as does this accessible translated adaptation of his work.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Those luxury goods

Solar power is indeed of continued future interest, however it is presently still a luxury good:

The near-term outlook for solar concentrating systems at solar power plants in the Southwest is strong, Fine said. But prices for solar panels, typically fitted onto rooftops, are falling across the industry. Subsidies in Germany and Spain--the two largest solar marketplaces--are being scaled back and there is now more silicon available to make solar cells. Both factors are contributing to less business for solar manufacturers and lower prices.
Added bonus is a lesson in market dynamics.

12 May 1949

Is the day the Soviet blockade of Berlin ended. For a moment. They could breath. For that day, they could feel that their island of freedom in a sea of oppression coercing them though hunger was secure.

“Could be Just the Beginning”

Beginning of WHAT, pray tell? They forgot Voltaire’s burning desire the defend to the death anyone’s right to offend, this is what European societies get for trying to regulate freedom of thought to advance politically correct proclivities. In Norway, an “Immigrant’s Political Party,” essencially a vehicle for political influence for those who choose to exclude themselves from the larger society, is forming. From without.

For the Aborigines, the incentive to defend against genuine overbearing social proscription has long since been gone. Holding certain political positions is unlawful because specific groups of people have legal protection against simple criticism. Saying certain things is placed on par with violence against protected classes. Surely thinking about anything tangentially related to, say for example, criticizing the cost of a pro-gay policy or it’s impact on others, is synonymous with hate-speech.

The party is still developing its policies but improving the rights for immigrants is its main concern.

Butt says Norway has much to learn from the Pakistani culture, particularly concerning the treatment of elders. He said families cared for their elders in Pakistan, while in Norway they are placed in nursing homes where integration is non-existent. Therefore the Independent Labour Party has proposed to set up separate nursing homes for Norwegian nationals and immigrants.
“Separate but equal”, and the wholly owned responsibility of the state – all in the interest of the good of man, or some other specious notion that they otherwise lectures others about. As for the kinds of social commitments that European society inspires in the appreciative newcomer:
The official election campaign will be launched in Pakistan on Thursday (April 30). Butt, known as a political journalist and actor before migrating to Norway in 1974, will launch the campaign on Pakistani TV.
So that they can speak to their potential voters in a language they can understand, which is not likely to include the language of the place they live. What’s interesting is that the only argument in defense against a protected class (who don’t need it) seeking excessive leverage is the complaint can only come from another protected class who don’t need it.

In all of this rationalization of rights, the notion of universal rights in a society, and the rights specific to a citizen, got entirely lost on the road to their “rights nirvana”, probably because those that demand those privileges can’t differentiate an inalienable right from anything else, and certainly don’t know their value to a good society.

They don't want to give up the stick

Something odd about this article in the FT, not for the content but for what seems to be missing:

Poland may postpone by at least a year its plans to adopt the euro in 2012, amid signs of a worsening economy and budget deficit, the country's finance minister has told the Financial Times.

"The first of January 2012 is still realistic, but it may require some delay," Jacek Rostowski said. "The world crisis has come along and it would be naive to pretend it has had no effect ... If we move it by one year that's not the end of the world."
The article goes here and there but never addresses what is probably the real reason for Poland not joining. There is this to give a clue:

The criteria for joining the euro call for a deficit of no more than 3 per cent, which would make joining the euro by 2012 unrealistic. In order to meet that date, Poland would have to join the pre-euro ERM-2 trading mechanism this year, which Krzysztof Rybinski, an economist with Ernst & Young, said is unlikely.
Given the colourful history of current euro countries in "adhering" to the 3 percent deficit rule laid out in the Growth and Stability Pact, we can readily dismiss that as a reason for the Poles not being "ready" in 2012. However, joining ERM-2 and having to begin the process of surrendering Polish monetary policy, now we get much closer to the real reason for the Poles wavering.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Compare and Contrast

What Margot Honecker said with regards to school children also applies to each FDJ collective: "Above all, we must present knowledge in a way that takes the social experiences of school children into consideration. The educational process must involve practical experience that children can make their own, which involves them in solving problems, in participating actively in social life at school, in their political organization, in life in the factory, and in their neighborhood. Communist education cannot be reduced to "moral lessons": it requires educating young people to action."
Alas, still we find that love is in the air:
I started as a canvasser myself, fresh out of college in 1991. I remember those days vividly, from the banyan tree-shaded neighborhoods of south Miami-Dade county to the red bricked streets of south St. Petersburg. It was the hardest work I’ve ever done, but in some ways, the most satisfying. I enjoyed listening to the people I met and engaging in the kind of two-way political interaction that has become nearly extinct in today’s modern world of 30-second commercials (often negative attack ads) and pre-recorded incoming phone messages.

This summer, we are launching our largest citizen outreach effort ever. Our political goal is to reunite our currently fractured congressional delegation in opposition to offshore drilling.
Just as it was in a place not long ago and not far away:
FDJ leaders appropriately devote substantial attention to the content of ideological work in membership meetings, in the study year, and in personal conversations. That is a major part of our propaganda work. These leaders thereby fulfill an important prerequisite of our socialist ideology in working with the youth be relating every question back to the main questions, keeping them as the core of their ideological activity. However, even if we assume that the best method of propagating Marxism-Leninism is to present its actual content, there is still always the question of "how." What are the forms, means, and methods of propaganda? Good propagandists know that the knowledge that must always be at the center of ideological work is not enough. The methods of presentation determine a large part of the effectiveness. That is as true for personal conversation as it is for the FDJ study year, for a youth forum, or for a monthly membership meeting.
Just as there is no great abundance of Banyan trees in Florida, not at least outside of the better parts of any town, there is no longer a DDR, so take heart.

Those Great Continental Minds

It was 1932. Hindenburg was working the Big Room and I...
I was playing the lounge. And then I got my big break.
Somebody burned down the Reichstag. And, would you believe it?
They made me Chancellor. Chancellor!

- Mel Brooks, standup philosopher

That is to say, a man with a sense of humor. Then again he isn’t a European “youth”. John Rosenthal, a man those he cites would find suspiciously Jewish (yes, it IS the 21st century), has translated the mental splattering of some who have no sense of humor – or brains for that matter. A sampling:


[ ... ]

One day there won’t be any more…
Interestingly, unlike Mr. Brooks’ fine opus, all of it is in free verse, and waxing admiringly about budding poop-stain, Mahmood Ahmedinejad. Alas, there’s more where that came from, because I don’t really think you need “jooooz” to trip these, the finest, best educated, most environmentally aware generation out there. Give them any simple to hate, and they will tout a creative talent in imitating it. Judging by the tone, it practically sounds like these francophones are really beating their meat over it:
Commentaire Nº3 - 5/5/2009 - 23:25
Coca and cocaine, crooks of all kinds, the U.S. is a real chance for Europe ...
How long Will we still suffer their degeneration which was getting worse from year to year? The evil empire has changed continents ...

Three piglets
Commentaire Nº28 - 6/5/2009 - 0:42
It’s too late for the strategy of the Users.
It’s finished for them.
Then there’s this stunning lack of awareness of the economic plight of those around him:
Three piglets
Commentaire Nº31 - 6/5/2009 - 0:51

The Orange revolutions have failed. And now the empire is at the end of the road: it cannot dominate the world when 600 000 jobs are destroyed every month in an already devastated economy.

Will only think about their return a boomerang: imagine that European nations free to bring any influence to support independence for Latin US
[he imagines that the US controls latin America], Kosovo, for [the US] to get hit back a 1000 times over...
Gee – lot’s of that “IsraHeil” stuff that make morons think they’re witty and insightful. What’s funny about it is that this pedantry not only hasn’t changed in decades, it hasn’t evolved. It’s a plane of thought that’s standing perfectly still, just like when Koko the chimp vocabulary stopped to grow. However to the sputum that spew it, it's regarded as brilliant, groundbreaking stuff, "ripped from today's headlines".

Now don’t forget – this strange craving for craving Empirial power over the world that they think the US has is normal for them. This is what they’re like when they spend quality time with their parents. They don’t actually need revisionist histories and elaborate “Bolivarian” screeds crammed down their throats.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Steyn on Brine

It just doesn’t get much funnier:

At the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, they’re premiering a new ballet about a young French boy who’s befriended by a giant helium-filled balloon. Any balletomanes at the US embassy might be forgiven for assuming it to be some hastily concocted metaphor to Euro-American harmony in the Age of Obama: a lithe young Continental prancing around the stage enraptured by his dazzling bag of gas. But, as it happens, The Red Balloon is an adaptation of some fey French movie from the Fifties, when a twirling Euro-ninny and his novelty gasbag were the stuff of cinematic whimsy and not the twin pillars on which western civilization has come to rest.

As is now well known, President Obama’s outreach to the Europeans – talking up the Continent’s “leadership” in the world and managing to keep a straight face while doing it – went unreciprocated. When it came to the good war – Afghanistan, the one the anti-Iraq types claim to be in favor of – Nato, a “military” “alliance” of 28 countries, rewarded the impeccable multilateralist with an extra 5,000 troops - or approx 180 soldiers per nation. And by “soldiers” they don’t mean men with guns who fire them at the enemy but “non-combat” forces who man the photocopier back at the barracks while the Third Infantry Division and a few brave lads from Britain, Canada and a couple of other places are up in the hills sticking it to the Taliban all day long. Our allies are happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with us, as long as there are a couple of provinces between their shoulders and ours.

On the other hand, the Obama happy talk seemed to go down well with the North Koreans, who promptly held one of their missile tests, and with members of the piratical community, who seized an American vessel for the first time in a couple of centuries. As the
New York Times headline writer put it: “Standoff With Pirates Shows U.S. Power Has Limits.”
Which, within the prism of their world view is about the only concept they’re capable of imagining anymore.

Looking for a purely legal tax haven?

Just run for public office:

Hazel Blears is facing fresh questions over the tax arrangements surrounding the sale of a flat in South London she had designated as a "second home".

Miss Blears sold the property in Kennington, south London, in August 2004 for £200,000, making a profit of £45,000. She admitted last night that she did not pay capital gains tax (CGT) on the profit from the sale because "no liability" had arisen.
Easy to put the screws to Liechtenstein, Andorra, Cayman, Ireland, et al, when you have your own nice little tax haven evasion scheme up and running ..... even better when you get to write the rules and all is backed by the tax-payer, in the truest sense of the meaning.

At this point, continued silence = approval from the hypocrite brigade. These statist shills have a true case of actual tax evasion pounding at the door yet refuse to bite the hand that feeds them, shocker.