Saturday, August 08, 2009

Ouch! You’re THINKING Something!

In Europe, words must hurt more than they do anywhere in the world. Especially if they actually mean something.

Former KGB man, Vladimir “Vladimir” Putin and Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s widow try to minimize the horror of the Gulags for, well, “social reasons” of hurt feelings.

Language, however, can be a sensitive matter. In Soviet Russia communist rulers saw 'propaganda' as a healthy weapon to be used against enemies of the state. To enemies of the state such as Solzhenitsyn it was an evil to be combated.

"In just few days we will mark a year since Alexander Isayevich Solzhenitsyn passed away," Putin began, in welcoming Natalya Solzhenitsyna to his office. "Remembering this, I would like to return today to the issue we have discussed with Alexander Isayevich - the propaganda of his work, studying..."
un-hunh. Oddly enough, we see no evidence of disagreement by the Reuters hack over the subject of propaganda either.

Squatting in the Mind of Ingmar Bergman

The ¡N-P! Film Festival continues with this classic, a parodic tale of lost love for one’s little sister, the Grim Reaper’s dry cleaner, and the Pakistani Badminton obsession.

Enjoy the Swedelish, and do have a pleasant self-immolation, would you old chap?

Friday, August 07, 2009

Hanging Tough and Holding the Line, Euro Style

They say that they’re all against beating demonstrators, of course.

Top diplomats from all but two EU embassies in Iran attended the inauguration of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Wednesday (5 August). The Swedish EU presidency, the UK, France, Spain, Finland, Greece and the Czech republic were present at ambassador level, the Swedish foreign ministry told EUobserver.

Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia sent charges d'affaires - acting heads of mission when the ambassador is away.
You can hear their balls clanking, can’t you?
The British foreign office in a statement described its decision to attend as "hard-headed diplomacy."

"We have not sent a message of congratulations to president Ahmadinejad. But ...communication channels have to be kept open," it also said.
That’s exactly how Iran bought the time it took to mine the Straits of Hormuz some time back, build longer range missiles, and construct centrifuges.
Only Germany and Austria stood out by sending lower rank representatives.
Nothing that the Europeans have done so far has induced meaningful conversation of any sort. Nonetheless, they pursue the only course of action impirically proven NOT to work because it requires no meaningful action on their part, no matter how much it increases their future risk. It’s what makes lefties sound so totally brilliant when they say that “you need to talk to your enemies and not your friends.”

You’re lookin’ really butch there, pal.

Amazing discoveries

The things we learn after taking a week off:

Have no doubt: politically we’re in for a rough ride and the Left will win in the end - because people want what only the state can provide.

I am starting a list of those wants which only the state can provide: televisions, clothing, refrigerators, cars, shoes, coffee, food, carpeting, windows, light bulbs, furniture, cutlery, beer, crockery, belts, watches, socks, ice-cube trays, soap, razors, deo, toothpaste, salt-shakers, lawn-mowers, bicycles, prams, luggage....

Victory Gin anyone?

Dead Marxists Society

Mourn, if you can. In very continental fashion, philosopher (and aren't they all philosophers...) Francis Jeanson made the argument that for the love of his country it had to be defeated, an argument he continued to qualify and recycle as he went along. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

In "Our war", a book published in 1960 and immediately seized from the shelves, he explained his fight, responding to those who accused him of supporting France’s enemies that he was defending France’s values.

Tried in absentia and sentenced in October 1960 to ten years in prison after the trial of its network of associates, he was pardoned in 1966.
Of course, back then, French society knew what treason was, having had to endure accusations of it from the Free French AND the Vichy, all of who tried to use the divinity of the imagined image of a rural culture, rarely by comparison did the notion of a free society see any use as its’ justification. In the end, they all pull out the “magic words”:
He then turned to the cultural and social work in psychiatric institutions.

Peeks into the future

Free™ healthcare certainly does seem to cost a lot of money:

French taxpayers fund a state health insurer, Assurance Maladie, proportionally to their income, and patients get treatment even if they can't pay for it. France spends 11% of national output on health services, compared with 17% in the U.S., and routinely outranks the U.S. in infant mortality and some other health measures.

The problem is that Assurance Maladie has been in the red since 1989. This year the annual shortfall is expected to reach €9.4 billion ($13.5 billion), and €15 billion in 2010, or roughly 10% of its budget.
Who knew?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Action! (2)

The ¡No Pasarán! Berlinophilia film festival continues, with this recommendation from 1953: “The Man Between,” Starring James Mason and Claire Bloom, made in the same year as the first East German uprising.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Chinoiseries ?

About 100 local residents and Chinese migrant workers have clashed in the Algerian capital, some brandishing knives and rods, reports say.
And imagine that, all with no-one to sneering some humanity into them too.
"I told him not to park his car in front of my shop, but he insulted me," 31-year-old Abdelkrim Salouda said.
and from then on out it was “I’m gonna git you sucka!

Cry, the Beloved Delusion

I am tempted to look for the pull string in their backs when I hear over and over and over and over about the inherent wrongness of American social practices. One which always has as a counterpoint of the European supremacists the idea that something that is done right is explained as simply being European, always as if wasn’t the policy, idea, or measure that offers a planet holding its’ breath for wisdom to be thankful for, but something about their culture or race which conveniently explains anything that need not be explained to point to the superiority of whatever nutty example is brought out to make that point.

One bright American PoliSci major suffering through the Kabuki of being a straw man for his fellow students in Germany explains this tedious phenomenon which has been going on for centuries, with Europeans lecturing others even when they stand on the rubble of the lives they and their forbearers have thrown away idly.

As a student studying in Berlin for the year, I’m fighting that tired stereotype Europeans hold of the United States of America: that Americans are heartless and lack compassion. They point to our cutthroat capitalist system as well as our failure to guarantee a more equitable distribution of our nation’s wealth. They also bring up the disregard we show for the natural environment. One even mentioned our propensity to resort to violence, both domestically with our high incidence of gun-related crimes and internationally with our notion of foreign intervention.
All of which has a limitation on the things that are always dwelled upon – a narrow selection of things that Europeans tell themselves they don’t do, even as they employ themselves exporting a stunning number of handguns, and are littered with personal crime to a degree unimaginable to most Americans.
I stopped my selfish habit of simply placing my empty bottles in the trash can; I now prefer flinging them into bushes that homeless people must eventually sleep in, or setting them down right after I chug them on street corners, in order to save them some searching. I imagine as a sort of homeless treasure hunt, all facilitated by my heartfelt generosity.
Odd, is it not, that it took an American, brutal and heartless by definition, to find a small thing to do for the European homeless – a theoretically statistically insignificant if you take the “evil America” argument for what they are: the ravings of the emotionally bereft in what is still a limiting social framework where hatred and envy is supposed to salve the limitations that you’re placed under.

Guess what: boo hoo, Spankitos. You would be hard-pressed to find the individual voluntary spirit in Europe to the extent you do in the US, largely because of the ugly state of being that is seems most Europeans don’t want to face when one is helping the unfortunate.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


As much as I never much respected Montgomery Clift’s choices, I can recommend this very interesting picture from 1950 centered around Berliners and American Airmen during the Berlin Airlift. Made in Berlin on location not even a year after the Airlift ended, it also offers a hidden surprise to Berlinophiles and history buffs, a sense of what the city looked like in 1950 which is especially interesting to those who know those same urban features as they are today, and what they were like before the wall came down, leading to the the eventual dissolution of the German Democratic Republic, an event that will see its’ 20th anniversary this fall.

You’ll note in the film the sight of the civilian population clearing rubble, knocking the mortar off of brick, and placing them in neat piles. It’s worth noting that in many parts of the east, some of those pallet-stacks of bricks remained untouched for 35 years.

It's Usually Spelled as one word in Pyongyang

Who knew that a totalitarian leftist regime could be SO, um, “ with it” as to take up a rather incongruous sexual fetish – especially for a society where the proletariat are all so “equal,” and being absorbed with oneself is a state crime. Unless you’re one of the of the elite in that society where everyone is supposed to be equal. In that case, it’s everyone else that get the golden shower.

Then again, when you’re done foraging for non-collectivist food, what else are you going to do?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Ne Taze me pas, Frère

There’s something honest, and, well, special about reflecting zee soci-all realitee. While mocking others about their cheap entertainment, you would think they would look at their own trash for what it is as well.

תודה, גיא ביישן -