Saturday, July 25, 2009
Back to school
War by Other Means
When Europeans aren’t lauding themselves for their feelings and opinions, they can usually be found abusing office for a little payola, and in this case whoring out their Foreign Minister as a debt collector for private bank customers.
To put pressure on Iceland to meet agreements about compensation for Dutch savers who lost money in the Icesave bankruptcy, Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen told his Icelandic counterpart that he could block its bid to join the European Union.Icelanders – all 3 of them – are sure to eventually develop a taste for that sort of domesticated sophistication and come to love it, if they can get past the Dutch attempt to get blood from a turnip.
Iceland has been hit especially hard by the credit crisis. Last week, it formally announced it is eager to join the European Union. The 27 foreign ministers of the member states said they will discuss the request at a meeting in Brussels on Monday. Whis is to say that there’s nothing to take, even if the Dutch could ameliorate their argument that there is some sort of “constitutionally sound” reason for the pay-for-play that they’re looking for.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Trade Unionbombers - Update
Fired workers at a bankrupt French auto-parts supplier won severance pay averaging 28,500 euros ($40,500) after threatening to blow up their factory along with components destined for Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen.In what has to be one of the most bizarre quotes from a public official in sometime:
Besides average statutory severance of 17,500 euros, each of the 366 workers at New Fabris will be offered 11,000 euros in "jobseeker aid," financed through the two carmakers' purchase of equipment and undelivered components, Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said in a statement today after meeting union members from the plant in Chatellerault in western France.
"Resorting to violence is not the solution to a program of job cuts," the minister said, adding that the lifting of the bomb threat had been "an absolute precondition to this meeting."Making the case for what we already know.
But let’s not pretend one size fits all – and that we can choose on everything. We can’t. We don’t even want to. And if we did we’d probably get it wrong. So it’s up to the state to do the most complex things – to take the stress of these decisions away from us – but to then supply these services at an excellent standard.Update: Timmy too
Update II: It is officially five-o'clock here in Brussels, let it pour
Hypocrisy, another in a continuing series
Well, there are limits of course:
Mrs Andreasen was blocked by Christian Democrat and Socialist MEPs from becoming vice-chairman of the European Parliament's budgetary committee on Monday.Open/informed debate and leadership is a good thing, just not that open and informed you see......
The centre-Right European People's Party and the Socialists broke parliamentary convention on the allocation of committee posts by demanding a vote by secret ballot to block Mrs Andreasen, who was elected as a Ukip MEP for South East England last month.
"They know that I know too much. I know where the bodies are buried and that's why they don't want me," said Mrs Andreasen.
Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat, attacked the "shameful decision" to hold a secret ballot so the MEPs could not be "held accountable for their actions".
"The message it sends to the public is that anyone who speaks out against malpractice in Europe risks being excluded from office," he said.
Mrs Andreasen, the European Commission's former chief accountant, was fired in 2004 after she publicly claimed there was a £172 million discrepancy between two sets of Brussels accounts.
Meet America’s Much Talked About Religious Obsessives
By which we mean the press. A fixture on Washington DC’s neo-Marxist-Leninist NPR station in addition to commenting on the overtly commercial WTOP, even Mark Plotkin wonders about these Stepford children’s sudden hesitation to “speaking truth to power.”
Open your Hymnals to Page O!
I don't fault the President for trying to control the press. But I ask you, why does the press go along? There is not one moment of spontaneity. The questioners are tipped off, in advance, by the White House and they behave accordingly.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Ah! But they did it with Élan!
The French Army were branded ‘imbeciles’ today after an artillery exercise caused a massive fire which destroyed dozens of houses and left hundreds homeless.
Rather than improving the marksmanship of the Foreign Legion, the shelling led to mass evacuations in a suburb of Marseilles.
More than 300 people have been evacuated from their homes and more than 1,000 acres of bush were left blazing, as 170 firefighters backed by helicopters and waterbombing aircraft fought the fire.
- Peter Allen, Mail Online.
Laughing Matters in Paris
Huddled in the picturesque neighbourhood of Belleville, La Java is home to the Laughing Matters comedy club, where, thanks to Karel Beer, expats and Anglophiles can enjoy a slice of English life and humour in Paris.
Hand-picked, hand-trained nothingness
In Global Institutions, Mediocrity Is the Way to the TopNo doubt these criticisms will be taken into consideration and lessons will be learned. If things really hot up we might just get an inter-agency task force whose mission is to streamline the decision-making process, cut red-tape and produce best practices which can then be ignored as the bureaucrati moves on to the next most important thing in the world which must be fixed within the next six weeks. All contingent upon the truly most important factor being in place, funding.
Many international organizations suffer from the fact that they are run by uninspiring bureaucrats. In most cases, this is the fault of the heads of state and government who prefer to elevate weak figures, who won't mettle too much, to these positions. Is that the best approach in these times of crisis?
You know the routine.
Thanks for the Fake, Inclusive PC Hogwash
The saintly Dutch are considered the ‘most liberal’ people on earth, and kind of false, constructed notion that being a reflexive leftist makes one accepting, generous, and decent. Puh-leez!
Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands feel rejected more than their peers in other European countries, and the dissatisfaction is growing amongst children of immigrants, according to a survey commissioned by the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME). The survey was conducted in Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.And the self-absorbed atheism thing isn’t exactly rubbing off on them either:
Researchers concluded that social relations with the second generation in the Netherlands is "significantly more tense" than elsewhere.
The survey also showed that, while most second-generation Moroccan immigrants visit mosques less often than their parents, the trend is reversed in the Netherlands: half of the immigrants' children visit the places of worship, 4 percent more than the first generation.It seems even the 2nd generation immigrants have enough sense to believe in something larger than themselves, even if some of them are as fundamentalist as a politically vegan Dutch streaker.
With Promises of Less for Everybody! All for Free!
Lost Health Coverage Since 1/1/08
Never mind the whole argument, which was used for nothing more than political harping whenever a conservative is in office, you just wait for the real loss of coverage. Nonetheless, Obama is trying to be Reaganesque and take the argument directly to the population, assuming his magical pixie dust of Obama-ness is somehow going to make people give up their common sense for his political agenda.
Methinks not. It is more likely to punch a hole in his, and his handlers’ notion that when he is teleprompted, that people automatically listen. Watch what’s left of the delusions that the press hold for him – the regard that they assume he is held with by we, the peasants begging for his charity - wear away.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Musings from beneath the kalpataru tree
The "dirty thirty", a term first coined by green group WWF in 2005, belched some 387.8 million tonnes of CO2 in 2008, down 1.9 percent from 2007. Analysts estimate this number will drop further this year as the global economic downturn severely erodes EU industrial production.The next trick, exactly how does one explain the benefits of being unemployed to a steel-worker and live to see another day?
Steelmakers are expected to be largely absent from the list next year as EU steel production figures were down 44 percent year on year in May, according to Barclays Capital.
The Polish government won approval from the European Commission on Wednesday to grant 251 million euros ($356.6 million) aid to the Gdansk shipyard over several years to ensure the viability of the yard.A) The European Parliament just elected a Pole as president of the body.
B) Microsoft, Google, Intel, (insert US firm name here), better keep the cheque-book handy as programmes such as this require stable and reliable funding sources.
Terrorists on the Moon
Seen yesterday on the front of Paris’ Institute du Monde Arabe was this coat-tail jumping load of revisionism. The very idea of putting contemporary Arab society, one of the most under-achieving, self-destructive, and violent in the context of the 40th anniversary of the US landing a man on the moon is, like so many other products of France’s pandering “cultural governance” types, simply absurd and vile.
The fallback position in all of these meme-constructing exercises, is to simply call it shabby street art, but for a class of people touting their advancement and sophistication at every turn in that area, there seems to be a awful lot of it. This class of French person, the government funded types who are rapidly becoming humanity’s circus people.
Behold the Fevered Brows of the Natives
One day, America is responsible for the manipulating the Parisian ‘hoods for some unspecified nefarious reason, the next, the US is responsible for the creation of the EU to enfeeble it for some other unspecified nefarious reason.
[The EU is] "A ploy to weaken and dominate Europe. After 52 years, Europe ‘the mess’ does not. "The theory goes among these power and control obsessed creeps is that the only reason humanity doesn’t worship their being, and the reason that the Reich isn’t on the march, is some sort of conspiracy. As if anyone on earth had the time, energy, or interest to do that. I suppose a delusion like that let’s one believe that one matters or something.
As if they need any outside help to enfeeble themselves. Left, right, or center: they are more likely to find authoritarianism glossed over with some childish, elementary demonization more appealing than anything else.
To the commenter’s we can only advise upping their Lexapro, because as always we find this kind of thing:
"Europe, a confederation of sovereign nations and continent-white fortress world"[America’s] expansion"Which is interesting since the US doesn’t make a habit of annexing territory, but the boundaries of the EU have been growing – largely through what reeks of economic intimidation. Do you really think the Romanians have much of a chance “going it alone”? Hell no. Resources in a snap AND you get new buddies to dream the cross-burning dream with. It’s a win-win for the crypto-nazis mentality that is a lot more common than you would think.
"And based for
One small punch for man, one giant punch for mankind
Let's see that again:
"You're a coward, a liar, and a thief" POW!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Trying to figure out Lady GaGa
Anybody else sitting on the fence (or in the closet) in regards to Lady GaGa?
These are among the injustices that the feminists, and their docile liberal male allies, have inflicted on men
Did you know that a family court can order a man to reimburse the government for the welfare money, falsely labeled "child support," that was paid to the mother of a child to whom he is not related?asks Phyllis Schlafly (more from Stephen Baskerville…)
Did you know that, if he doesn't pay, a judge can sentence him to debtor's prison without ever letting him have a jury trial?
Did you know that when corporations can't pay their debts, they can take bankruptcy, which means they pay off their debts for pennies on the dollar, but a man can never get an alleged "child support" debt forgiven or reduced, even if he is out of a job, penniless and homeless, medically incapacitated, incarcerated (justly or unjustly) or serving in our Armed Forces overseas, can't afford a lawyer, or never owed the money in the first place?
Did you know that when a woman applying for welfare handouts lies about who the father of her child is, she is never prosecuted for perjury? Did you know that judges can refuse to accept DNA evidence showing that the man she accuses is not the father?
Did you know that alleged "child support" has nothing to do with supporting a child because the mother has no obligation to spend even one dollar of it on a child, and in many cases none of the "support" money ever gets to a child because it goes to fatten the payroll of the child-support bureaucracy?
These are among the injustices that the feminists, and their docile liberal male allies, have inflicted on men.
…Another type of feminist indignity is the use in divorce cases of false allegations of child sexual abuse in order to gain child custody and the financial windfall that goes with it. Former Vancouver, Wa., police officer Ray Spencer has spent nearly 20 years in prison after being convicted of molesting his two children who are now adults and say it never happened.
This sounds vaguely familiar
Google is already under a microscope from the U.S. Justice Department and now may have European regulators on its back as well. Representatives from the European Union said Monday they have turned their attention to Google's digital books project and is seeking guidance on potential European copyright violations stemming from that project.Oh Gabriel ..... that is precisely what Microsoft started off saying all those many years ago. The US mind-set is such easy pickings, they actually think this is about the under-lying legal issue (copyright, monopoly, etc), how quaint.
The EU said is would meet with a range of publishers, authors and other sources on Sept. 7.
Google spokesman, Gabriel Stricker described the EU's hearing is a "fact-finding exercise" and said that Google was "looking forward taking part," according to the The Wall Street Journal.
"Money Wasted for Nothing": More Reasons for Clueless Yanks to Emulate Europe's Social Models and Its Health Care Systems
Yet, after celebrating "the final Christmas", "the final dinners", and "the final Spring" with his wife Isabel, the Dorset native remained very much alive and over two years later (at age 59), he is still with us — for the simple reason that what the NHS diagnosed as a cancer was a harmless abscess.
So, is Philip Collins a happy man? Well, yes, apart from the fact that he is ruined and that the (unnecessary) medicine he's taken (steroids, etc) have reduced him to a human wreck…
One Le Monde reader testifies that "the real problem of the English medical system is the bureaucracy and the lack of choice" while another points out (to a third reader who offered the rather facile judgment that Philip Collins should have asked for a second opinion) that "the system does not allow for a second opinion (unless it is at one's own expense and that is onerous!)" and while a fourth states that "the hospitals are in a terrible shape" and "the doctors only do the strict minimum"…
One final Le Monde reader bears quoting: Richard adds that he knows an Englishman with Alzheimer's, except he will not be given medicine by the "completely rotten" British system until he is in the terminal stage. "Before, no, it would [only] be for comfort's sake and would be money wasted for nothing." Richard adds: "After the age of 70, you no longer undergo dialysis, so you can go croak".
(Surprisingly, this reader, whom American conservatives would be wont to sympathize with, has a strange conclusion: "Gallant Frenchmen … instead of crying over euthanasia, we would do better to have it legalized.")
pas parfait le système britannique, il est complètement pourri.Je connais un anglais qui "devrait" être atteint de l'alhzeimer, seulement on ne lui donnera les médicaments que lorsqu'il en sera au stade terminal. Avant,non, ce serait du comfort et de l'argent gâché pour rien. A partir de 70 ans, on ne vous dialyse plus, donc vous pouvez crever, c'est ça braves français que vous vouler à terme pour la France, donc au lieu de pleurnicher sur l'euthanasie,on ferait mieux de la légaliser.Mac's Mind has many more examples from the British press (cheers to Larwyn)…
In related news, a couple of Le Parisien fillers from June 5 teach us that a Jean-Pierre was denied unemployment benefits because the 60-year-old Frenchman on the lam was earning 3,40 Euros over the acceptable limit; while Nénette is the happy beneficiary of a daily welfare allocation of .06 Euros (6 cents) for the coming six months.
Celebrating Belgian Independence
One Rotten Social Measure After Another
The very same sort of all-knowing Continental mind that plumps for ‘diversity,’ which by all measures is the odd and useless celebration of the existence of certain people one could pick out of a crowd, finds itself at odds with it’s natural narrow-minded nativism.
The Slovak Language Law is one of the most extraordinary pieces of legislation imaginable in a democratic country. Even the briefest of glances will show how restrictive it is and what kind of discrimination it introduces - reintroduces - into EuropeBut it actually is a mere sneeze, a sort of symptom of that diseased instinct of regulating the lives of others, whether it has anything to do with the preservation of a language or anything else. In fact it pecks to death the native minority languages to no effect, as though the existence of 10% of the population who is likely also universally bilingual, is some sort of threat to the other 90% of the population who merely exist.
In brief, around ten percent of the population of Slovakia is Hungarian-speaking, beyond which there are Ukrainian, Roma and other minorities. For all practical purposes, the new law eliminates all the minority languages from the public sphere. Yet even here there is a further discrimination - the small Czech minority is exempt from its restrictions.
The Law, recently passed by parliament, is highly detailed and penetrates deep into the everyday lives of the linguistic minorities. It seeks to regulate any and all meetings, gatherings, associations and other forms of communication by insisting on the parallel use of the "state language", Slovak, whenever and wherever members if the minority get together in public, and "public" is very broadly defined. Thus, if a group of Hungarian-speakers establish a literary circle, say, their proceedings would have to have a parallel Slovak translation, whether anyone actually needed this or not.It’s tragically Quebecois, which means it’s actually founded on a weird combination of irrational cultural supremacism and paranoid envy. It’s sure to be accompanied by the many ways in which the happy, clog-dancing populous is to ‘celebrate diversity’ in precisely the way proscribed by someone holding a majority of social influence and political power – just like in every other hovel of philosophical stupidity and simplistic-ness in the world.
Which is to say, in academia, ‘activist’ local governments, and most any government department that tries to found itself on a social science. Good luck with all that, and be sure to hide the ways in which you really feel differently from everyone else.
Monday, July 20, 2009
What’s this “we” Sh*t?
In their inceasing self-promotion as the source of reference for all the acceptable knowledge in the universe, the BBC World Service, advertising for one of its’ online programs, on about the Apollo 11 moon landing on this, it’s 40th anniversary. The tag line was that it was the age where “we” went to the moon, making no mention whatsoever that while a few Britons were involved, Britain wasn’t, and that it was not “man as a whole” that pulled this off, it was the United States whom they seem loath to mention in the context of anything positive.
True to form, the usual freaks on the Continent never saw an old crackpot theory that they couldn’t recycle. In the same spirit of another 40th anniversary, there are more than enough of them trotting out whatever lunacy they can find. Surely they will dead-parrot scetch the script of Capricorn One before the week is out.
If it makes you feel better, just tell yourself that this never happened. M’kay?
As if Babs Wasn’t Already Working the Donkey Show
Strangely enough, in the media landscape of the left’s mind, the rattlings on by Barbara Walters and the soup chickens on her TV lecturn, this kind of thing is actually found relevant – a sort of “cultural conversation” which we are told is broadening and enlivening.
Of course the idea here is that they find ways of talking about themselves whenever possible, imagining that we care about how they like or don’t like to get schtupped, as though it’s some sort of analogue of the people. The gals on The View, we are to believe are the Ur-Women of planet earth. Sorry. It’s been done, girls. That shark has long been jumped, satirized, and satyrized:
Babs’ thoughts on spelunking are as yet unknown.
In France, Fights Over U.S. Supreme Court Nominees Are Only Petty and Vindictive if They Are Undertaken by Conservatives
Indeed, she makes it almost sound, by inference, that Clarence Thomas was a victim of rightist anger — by ignoring whom (and which party) he was nominated by, by renouncing the hostile language used for Sonia Sotomayor's opponents, and by using language that is more neutral and more passive ("his nomination was the object of a violent left-right fight in the Senate") and more of the "we are all equally guilty" variety.
Le juge Clarence Thomas, renversé dans son fauteuil, ne dit jamais un mot. Il a remplacé Thurgood Marshall à ce qui est devenu le siège « africain-américain » à la cour. Sa nomination en 1991 a fait l’objet d’une violente bataille droite-gauche au Sénat. Depuis, il s’est enfermé dans le mutisme public le plus complet.Yes, Clarence Thomas has shut himself into the most complete silence and never says a word… except for the fact, of course, that he has written his autobiography…
Indeed, Corine Lesnes speaks of America's leftist humanitarians as incarnating the "American dream as Barack Obama has resuscitated it", while ignoring the fact that Clarence Thomas's path from poverty in Georgia is far more reflective of the American dream than middle-class Barack Obama's, with support from right and left, not least Chicago's Democratic machine.
Obama rarely misses a chance to stress that 46 million people in the U.S. lack health coverage, but experts say that the actual number is far less
President Obama rarely misses a chance to stress that 46 million people in the U.S. lack health coverageopines Investor's Business Daily, echoing the findings of the Free Market Cure of Stuart Browning.
But the actual number of chronically uninsured Americans is far less, experts say.
…"This situation is really misrepresented," said June O'Neill, professor of finance at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York. O'Neill is also the former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. "It is contradicted by the studies that show the large amount of resources that the uninsured actually do get."
…Many can afford coverage but, for various reasons, choose to go without it, O'Neill says. Others are eligible for coverage from the government but don't take it. Others choose alternative means, such as neighborhood clinics.
Keith Hennessey, a top economic adviser to President Bush, breaks down the 45.7 million figure, based off of Census/Labor Department data. After excluding the well-off, young adults, noncitizens, those eligible for government programs and other factors, he finds there are just 10.6 million left.
Even that includes people who lacked coverage for a limited time.
The Census says people "were considered 'uninsured' if they were not covered by any type of health insurance at any time in that (past) year."
Thus, a person switching jobs who goes temporarily without coverage is deemed uninsured, even if he or she quickly gets coverage that same year.
…Ultimately, using the 45.7 million figure distorts the policy choices.
Sometimes things go horribly off-script
India served notice on Sunday that it remains opposed to legally binding targets to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, digging in its heels against the United States as the Obama administration begins marshaling support for a new global agreement on climate change.In other news, those already so thoroughly gorged on unfunded federal mandates say, "no más":
India voiced its rejection of the American position in an awkwardly public forum: during a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to an energy-efficient office building here on the outskirts of New Delhi that was supposed to celebrate cooperation between India and the United States on climate policy.
The nation’s governors, Democrats as well as Republicans, voiced deep concern Sunday about the shape of the health care bill emerging from Congress, fearing that the federal government is about to hand them expensive new Medicaid obligations without providing the money to pay for them.In case one needs a primer on how it all works:
The role of the states in a restructured health care system dominated the National Governors Association’s summer meeting here this weekend — with bipartisan animosity voiced against the Obama administration’s plan during a closed-door luncheon on Saturday and in a private meeting on Sunday afternoon with the secretary of health and human services, Kathleen Sebelius."I think the governors would all agree that what we don't want from the federal government is unfunded mandates," said Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont, a Republican who is the group's incoming chairman. "We can't have the Congress impose requirements that we are forced to absorb beyond our capacity to do so."
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Toon o' the Last Decade
Remember, It’s only Wrong When Columbians did it
Reporters Without Borders says the kidnapping of two French military officials in Mogadishu is in itself a cause for deep concern. But it says reports that the two men had posed as journalists prior to their abduction has both shocked and puzzled journalists around the world. Some kidnap victims just don’t rate I guess.
The Paris-based organization says it has received a confirmation from several Somali sources that the French nationals, who had been in Mogadishu for nine days, had registered at the Sahafi Hotel as journalists. Early Tuesday, nearly a dozen gunmen in a pick-up truck burst into the hotel and took the men away at gunpoint. After the abduction, the hotel registry was reportedly confiscated by Somalia's interior minister.But the “outrage” barely registers. The mere inference that Columbian troops nearly sported red cross paraphernalia when they undertook the humanitarian act of freeing FARC hostages set off alarm bells. Security contractor’s telling a bunch of hostile goons that they’re journalists? Hardly – there is, at this point just vague speculation that they told anyone that they misrepresented themselves:
"We are trying to get proof that they did write 'journalist' on the registry. The manager of the hotel said it and also our correspondent got that information. We are very concerned because journalists are accused of being spies for other governments," Le Coz said. " We are trying to make people understand that they are not spies.In other words, this story is about a rumor of what random, normally enraged folk living in a stateless corner of beautiful downtown nowhere told someone somewhere. Since Tintin and the gang deem their word more reliable than anyone elses’ especially if they aren’t likely seeding a story for al-Shabab, why would anyone think anything less of it?
Of course, we will all feel better
Indeed, Paul Golby, who runs the British operations of E.ON, Europe’s biggest wind-power producer, has told the government that a 90% fossil fuel or nuclear back-up will be needed for any of the National Grid’s future wind-power capacity. As Martin Fuchs, his German boss, pointed out: “The wind, sadly, does not blow where large quantities of power are required . . . on September 12 last year wind power contributed 38% of our grid power requirements at all times, but on September 30 the figure went down to 0.2%.”