Roy E. Disney was a big fan of referring to the past to define the future. He told a biographer: “The goal is to look over our shoulder and see Snow White and Pinocchio and Dumbo standing there saying, ‘Be this good.’ We shouldn’t be intimidated by them; they’re an arrow pointing someplace.”
The reason that COP15 is a failure belongs to Barack Obama who (in spite of being serial bower and Apologizer-in-Chief) "shot [the Copenhagen conference] down in flames", says Yannick Jadot. From the Europe Écologie député, we also learn that Obama caved in to the conservative element of the Congress (!) and that the Danes were lapdogs for the Americans (!)…
Deep in our underground headquarters bunker, a team of wierdos in lab coats are busying themselves at a fevered pitch into a fit of madness repairing our comment system. After all, we won’t let the likes of evil genius Ernst Stavro Blofeld get the best of us, will we old chap!
In the mean time, imagine that you’re all slagging on each other with acerbic witticisms and cunning feats of triple-entendre. The rest of you, just try to keep your hands where I can see them.
Even if the case doesn't have much financial impact on Google or force a big change in its book-scanning strategy, it is a reminder that its ambitions are increasingly colliding with fears that the company is getting too powerful.
"It shows Google that they are not the kings of the world and they can't do whatever they want," said Serge Eyrolles, president of France's Syndicat National de l'Edition. He said Google had scanned 100,000 French books into its database - 80 percent of which were under copyright.
The wedge was being able to read a sample of the work, much as you can in the bookstore itself, but ironically, not at the website of FNAC for reasons unknown, the nation’s largest francophone book, music, and gizmo and doodad retailer.
Eyrolles said French publishers would still like to work with Google to digitize their books, "but only if they stop playing around with us and start respecting intellectual property rights."
It has absolutely nothing to do with intellectual property rights, especially when the case is brought to court by an organization that has a literal monopoly on anything published in mass, short of small run limited edition publications, and the like. The AUTHOR has no right to bypass this syndicate at all, one known for occasionally practicing political editorialization when all they amount to is a glorified trucking company with a sweaty-palmed union boss. The only reasonable option an author then has, is to try to find a publisher in Quebec.
By contrast, the real effect that the national publishing cartel is having was summed up by Google’s Colombet:
"French readers now face the threat of losing access to a significant body of knowledge and falling behind the rest of Internet users," Colombet said an e-mailed statement. "We believe that displaying a limited number of short extracts from books complies with copyright legislation both in France and the U.S. - and improves access to books," Colombet said.
For once the fallacious term “Anglo-Saxon” was not used.
"It's starting to snow; of course [in view of the global warming conference], that hardly makes for an entirely optimal situation"
That was the laconic comment of a retired weatherman from Copenhagen Airport. As the world (and the Copenhagen conference) heads towards (an objective of) minus 2º (Celsius), writes Berlingske Tidende, Denmark is heading towards minus 20º. As Obama arrives in Copenhagen, the snow has started to fall.
The irony is palpable when the American president Barack Obama flies in on a Danish December weather day, whose snowfall, fog, and frost seems to disavow COP15's whole raison d'être. … According to the weather forecast Denmark will get a snow storm this weekend. The wind will make the temperature feel like minus 20 degrees.
When he said the process in Copenhagen was “not democratic, it is not inclusive, but isn’t that the reality of our world, the world is really and imperial dictatorship…down with imperial dictatorships” he got a rousing round of applause.
When he said there was a “silent and terrible ghost in the room” and that ghost was called capitalism, the applause was deafening.
Not that it gets any better, anywhere, inside or out. The UN had to throw out protesters whose bidding the UN is there to do. All you really need to know about them, and the entire shambles of a “movement” is evident in their reaction. They would prefer that the conference not take place at all if they can’t squat the lobbies.
The irony is that these feral children have the arrogance think that they’re “saving the world” and “saving lives”, when all they are, in fact, are unproductive political parasites trying to remander other peoples’ resources. They bear an uncanny resemblance to violent adolescents who have so little life experience that they follow radicals blindly, as we’ve seen in the past with “peace” movements, cults, and various flavors of authoritarian Communism.
From the opening ceremony's video of a little girl running from an earthquake to the promises of emissions reductions, everything taking place in Copenhagen is contrived. The outcome of climate talks -- no treaty, no emissions reductions -- was known in advance. And yet participants pretend there is an unfolding drama. As such, Copenhagen is history's first completely postmodern global event. It's a festival of phoniness. With the ambitions of Versailles but the power of Davos, Copenhagen creates a cognitive dissonance for its creators, which results in ever-more manic displays of apocalypse anxiety and false hope. In the end, Copenhagen tells us more about ourselves -- our post-American world, our fragmented media environment, and our hyper-partisanship -- than about any attempt to slow global warming.
And further in a paean to the bobo-ism that typifies academia, the European world view, and a moderate-seeming resolution to the impotent rage of “our betters”:
In this, Copenhagen represents the first truly postmodern global event in human history. Other generations had Versailles, Yalta, Bretton-Woods -- agreements that re-organized nation states and shaped the modern world. We, by contrast, have Copenhagen, which has no power to do anything. In reality, Copenhagen is no more effectual than the made for media confabs like Davos. But the United Nations, multinational green groups, and sympathetic reporters have succeeded in creating the impression of action where there is, in fact, none at all.
Don’t be surprised if they DON’T understand that what they want will result in the enlargement of the poverty gap, and thanks to the “science” that they will take to be “better than nothing”, founded on nothing. Absolutely nothing, as there is no objective proof that man can passively alter the temperature of the world’s atmosphere, let alone hack nature out of it’s own patterns and force it to refrigerate itself.
But “correction” of anything real is not the purpose, given this unaddressed trend that continues today:
Between 2000 and 2005, European emissions grew twice as fast as America’s. Emissions in Canada grew a whopping five times faster. Since 1990, Germany and Britain reduced their emissions, but they did so for prior reasons having nothing to do with global warming: Margaret Thatcher broke the coal miners’ union in the early 1980s, moving Britain to cleaner-burning natural gas, and the East German economy collapsed after the fall of communism, reducing a reunified Germany’s reliance on dirty coal plants. When you remove these two from the calculation, European emissions rose almost 12 percent between 1990 and 2005.
I hope this puts the anger, the lectures, the vile harangues, and the looks askance in some kind or perspective, one that’s doesn’t set out to scare children or convince an otherwise able population to believe that Global Warming caused a tsunami or an earthquake.
Goodnight, Copenhagen. Like the response to the name “Kyoto”, as a city you are now just another place linked to a massive fraud, and possibly the most oppressive limitation placed on the human potential of the poor humanity ever imposed on itself. Not that "summits" have any more meaning or inspire any more awe anyway.
Like so much else, summitry is a concept or brand that has been abused and trivialized, as Cadillac was for many years. If Copenhagen deters the world’s publicity-seeking official conferenciers from trying to squeeze any more juice out of the summit lemon, it will be a howling success. Only the countries that mistakenly expect to receive compensation for their impoverished inability to generate carbon emissions, or for the falsely pledged reduction of them, will pay any attention to the pious frauds that the posturing busybodies of Copenhagen may claim to agree to implement.
Case in point: the EUvian habbit of naming some purposeful sounding declaration after a city where the media circus is brought to, as if, some day, they will all be discussed in detail as the "Treaty of Paris" was for two centuries. The cities after which they are being named are becoming progressively less known and smaller, because they appear to be running out of them, at least the ones that sound politically correct.
I mean can you picture a treat or declaration being named after Luton? It'll happen about two decades after they have completely run out of ways to seem high-minded.
Nicolas Sarkozy "is setting up real strains with the Obama administration", says John Vinocur:
In little-publicized remarks Dec. 1 — buried under Nicolas Sarkozy’s gloating over placing a Frenchman in a European Union post with potential oversight on the run-and-gun British financial sector — the French president announced that he would seek to create a new international monetary system that doesn’t solely revolve around the U.S. dollar.
“A new international monetary system is required,” Mr. Sarkozy said. “Following World War II, there was a single superpower in the United States, and it was normal that there was a single great currency. Today, we have a multipolar world, and the system must be multimonetary. In the world as it is now, there can’t be submission to what a single currency dictates.”
Mr. Sarkozy, speaking just ahead of regional elections in March, gave a time and place for enacting his plans — 2011, when France holds the presidency of the Group of 20 global economic consultative body, and, not entirely by accident, the year before presidential elections here and in the United States.
Incidentally, the Europeans' hype for Obama had all to do with a person they thought would bring America down while elevating all others (something some of us still have reason to fear, but which they — the Europeans — are feeling increasingly resentful that he isn't doing).
The issue was also present in an essay published in the leftist newspaper Libération in mid-November by Zaki Laidi, a professor at Sciences Po here, who said — could Mr. Sarkozy have noticed? — that after a year of global economic crisis, the United States retained not only its world economic and strategic dominance but also what he called its “instinct for power.”
Mr. Laidi wrote, “We’re being told that America is on the decline and Barack Obama is the representative of an America that voluntarily accepts playing a multipolar world game. These two hypotheses, at best, are highly questionable. It’s impossible to see why Washington would accept structuring a world order while it continues to have sizable advantages.”
…Mr. Sarkozy is not an anti-American, but he may regard standing up to the Yanks as a multipurpose tool in the campaign to come. In his incomparable book, “L’Ennemi Américain,” Philippe Roger describes anti-Americanism as a constant of French political life, “halting hostilities between factions in the face of supposed common enemy” and in “manufacturing a tissue of consensus.”
Who IS that reality-based community you ask? Gee – according to 98% of the press, academia, and anyone the left can pistol-whip, those leftie munchkins who consider their collage of policy tirades a philosophical foundation.
New study: More Democrats than Republicans believe in ghosts, talking with the dead, fortunetellers
Which makes the whole “pro-choice vegan” thing a lot clearer, not to mention the belief that crushing public dept is good, and that unless we devolve into an ignorant and grindingly poor agrarian society that the future will be altogether unpredictably gassy. I mean the waters might keep rising by 3 millimeters a year, just like it did in the last century.
"many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects."
Thus attributing it to “some Americans” we find the Pew elves find a nice way of obscuring deltas on the order of 2:
For example, 21 percent of Republicans report that they have been in touch with someone who is dead, while 36 percent of Democrats say they have done so.
Which explains the charisma with which Nancy Pelosi’s town hall meetings are greeted.
Either way, what we’re talking about beliefs that are philosophically and theologically meaningless forces regarded as putting the choices in our lives beyond our control, ones that do nothing to inform human morality or force the exercise of self-examination - being far more likely to bedevil the minds of leftists, that anonymous lot sold to us as our thoughtful and more worldly betters. In reality they look more like spiritual vagrants searching for the unreal and meaningless to tolerate the real and meaningful.
Same as it everwas. UN backed troops, taking the place of professional soldiers doing peacekeeping, have been engaging in the kind of rampage that has come to be associated with the words “U.N.” and “Peacekeeping”. As usual, they weren’t just massacring civilians, they were more interested in getting a piece.
More than 7,500 cases of sexual violence against women and girls were registered at health centers during that nine-month period, nearly double that of 2008 and likely representing only a fraction of the total.
Human Rights Watch said that the 19,000 peacekeepers in Congo — the biggest U.N. force in the world — must "immediately cease all support to the current military operation" until it can ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law. The group also called for the U.N. to find "a new approach to protect civilians."
In other words, something a little more like those awful Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a little less like those lionized by bobs as “doing God’s work.”
Is there any reason to be surprised? Hell no! That was all just oh-so last year! The force in question is composed as it is because of a failed Europeans commitment where the world was supposed to thank them for the fine conference accommodations where the press conference took place, but expect nothing in the way of peacekeeping troops in their former colonies:
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said ministers would discuss Mr Ban's appeal, but added: "Let me also underline that the situation on the ground is getting slightly better, and politically also."
But non-governmental organisations poured scorn on any suggestion things in eastern DR Congo were improving, saying rape, murder and pillage was still rife in the region.
'Situation is dramatic'
The 27-nation EU has so far been reluctant to commit forces to the Congo to back a 17,000-strong UN force, Monuc, already on the ground.
Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said before the discussions: "It will take four to six months before the additional troops for Monuc will arrive and the humanitarian situation is dramatic over there."
Belgium has been the most outspoken European country in appealing for help for DR Congo, its former colony.Again, they closed their eyes and wished for peace, so (again) they should not be surprised as what that gave them. Speaking in 2008 on the subject on behalf of this “peacey-peacey superpower of lurrrrve”, Sarko said:
“You can't be everywhere all the time,”
Or in France’s case, failing to support a force to the point where it really can’t effectively be anywhere.
The language Esperanto is often used to access an international culture,
Every year, hundreds of new titles are published in Esperanto along with music. Also, many Esperanto newspapers and magazines exist.
Today would be the 150th birthday of the inventor of Esperanto, an language promoted by the former Marxist-Leninist communist states where hardly a soul learned it, and present day Marxists, who for the same reasons think that it makes sense to homogenize humanity into a single servile monoculture speaking an indistinct babble aggregated entirely of European languages. A lot like EU legislative proceedings if you ask me.
Europeans, being the only people on earth that matter, and are, like, "global," saw a great coming together in that idea of peddling this eurocentric language on the rest of humanity, some largely as great way to be "International" and as in "5th Internationale", and others, because, well, "world" means "them". To wit, the amusing characrterization of the organic growth of English being a reason to "carry the flag" for this thing which calls itself a movement, but feigns to have no ideology:
In France on Monday, the Le Monde daily ran a full-page ad by the European Esperanto Union under the breathless headline, "Europe is suffering under the domination of the Anglo-American language."
In other news, not widely associated with any comment of that nature, the Francophonie is promoting the French language under the same banner, berating people with what they will think is a sort of guilt which should, as a movement with no ideology either, cause someone who self-selected to learn english, to use French for the same non-ideological, pan-galactic, humanistic reasons.
It’s all part of the loving and caring thing, which is honky-dorey, so long as they run the show. It explains the lack of support the Maoists gave the Marxist-Leninists promoting it, who could as Asians indeed smell the stench of underhanded cultural colonialism from that far away.
US supporters of a strong climate deal in Copenhagen on Saturday lit candles and erected a mock Noah's Ark in Washington, warning leaders that the planet faced a crisis of biblical proportions.
The rally in view of the US Capitol was the culmination of a day of demonstrations around the world including in the Danish capital where tens of thousands took to the streets near the venue of the 194-nation summit.
Another ‘official day of rage’ if you will, which is exactly what you need if you’re founding a civilization-killing concept on a philosophical-sounding notion that has no objective scientific proof, nor an actual philosophy. It’s theology without all that theo stuff which aligns rather oddly with some way serious haters, also begging for an apocalypse to come along and prove them right.
The United States is the only industrial power to shun the current Kyoto Protocol, but Obama has pledged to work with other nations on drafting future action against climate change.
No, the United States is one of the only nations that doesn’t regularly signs things and then promptly weasel or ignore the commitment.
We need to send Al Gore to Edmonton to clear things up (merci à Frank)…
Edmonton was the coldest place in North America yesterday morning and the second chilliest in the world.
The Edmonton International Airport saw a record low of -46.1 C and -58.4 C with the windchill, outfreezing even the Arctic.
"The cold high pressure has been moving down from the Arctic over the Prairies," said Environment Canada meteorologist John McIntyre, adding British Columbia and Saskatchewan also experienced plummeting temperatures. "We are right now in the centre of the heaviest, coldest air."
Following a botched back operation on France’s most famous Elvis impersonator, fans of Johnny Hallyday assault the über-Euro-surgeon who screwed the pooch. Hallyday is now at Cedar-Sinai in LA getting “inferior, third world medical care”. Apparently Cuban medicine would be too good, or something, and of course because it’s France, the President is required to get involved, and you have to have an ineffectual “vigil” for some reason, and probably not covered by even a French medical insurance rider policy.
It is my opinion that a modern history book on the Civil War or on the life of Abraham Lincoln without a reference to Harry Jaffa's A New Birth of Freedom, however brief, can only be incomplete. But not only books on the Civil War and Old Abe, along with tomes discussing of the rights and/or wrongs of secession.
More than that: any book on Thomas Jefferson, on James Madison, on the revolutionary era, and, in fact, on American history in general, old and modern, without a reference to Harry Jaffa's latest book is incomplete, as is any book on today's liberal and progressive ideology…
Some excerpts of the book that discusses natural law versus positive law and constitutional rights versus revolutionary rights, while mentioning Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Karl Marx, and Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government:
No one can write properly about the American Civil War without taking note of the fact that Jefferson, in 1774, declared the "abolition of domestic slavery" to be "the great object of desire" in the American colonies
Slavery, of course, is nothing but taxation without representation carried to its ultimate extreme
Individual rights become valuable only insofar as they result in a good society — a society in whcih man's moral and intellectual virtues can find their fullest measure of opportunity. There is in Jefferson none of that radical individualism that sees the rights of the individual transcending and opposing the moral demands of a good society. The opposition between the demands of society and the rights of the individual, so familiar in our time, arose only as those rights were no longer understood to be natural rights subject to the natural law.
An elected government has no more moral or legal right to arrogate authority or employ powers not delegated to it by the people through the Constitution than a nonelected government
No one can rightfully demand obedience of another, however plausible his claims to superior ability, until he has proved that his ability will be devoted, not to exploiting, but to benefiting the other
Jefferson: "that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them"
A morality governed by prudence is largely beyond the ken of our latter-day abolitionist historians. For them, prudential compromises in dealing with slavery are regarded as mere excuses for inaction. They have much in common with Chief Justice Roger Taney, who in the Dred Scott decision of 1857, declared that the Signers of the Declaration of Independence could not have regarded slavery as wrong, since they did not abolish it — ignoring the fact that, in any event, they had no power to abolish it! For such historians as these, the portrayal of a "racist" American Founding is a necessary preamble to the disavowal of any authority to the principles of the Revolution, notably those enshrined in the Declaration
We understand … why it is against our interest to become tyrants as why it is in our interest to prevent tyrants from ruling us. That is the argument of Plato as well as Aristotle. It is the argument of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Gettysburg Address. Yet it is an argument held in almost no esteem today. How is that possible? The answer is that in our time, truth has been disarmed by the opinion that reason is impotent to know what it just or unjust, right or wrong, true or false. If there is no truth, or if the truth is beyond the power of the human mind to know, then free argument and debate as means of arriving at the truth are meaningless. Truth is thereby disarmed of her natural weapons a priori. This challenge to the principle of a free society is one that neither Jefferson nor Lincoln anticipated. Nonetheless, we assert categorically that the common sense of the subject as it appeared to Jefferson and Lincoln, although it has been denied by the mainstream of Western thought for more than a century, has not been refuted.
Self-realization was in fact the only correlate of the new atheism. As there could no longer be any distinction between man and God, which distinction is as fundamental to the Declaration of Independence as to the Bible, there could be no distinction between base and noble desires. All desires were understood to be created equal, since all desires were seen as originating in that highest of all authorities, the self-creating self. Each human being was to be his own God, obeying only those restrictions that were enforced upon him by the fact that he was not yet himself the universal tyrant. In time, however, Science would enable everyone to act as if he were the universal tyrant. As these doctrines were filtered trough the intellectual establishment of modern liberal regimes, of which Chief Justice Rehnquist is a typical representative, the emancipation from morality was itself seen as moral progress, and the opponents of that emancipation were seen as the reactionary enemies of both freedom and morality. The essence of the new Liberalism was to make each human being, as far as possible, a universal tyrant within his own world, commanding all the pleasures possible in that world, and emancipated from everything except those limits upon his power which Science had not yet conquered. Thus would the return to a Garden of Eden — but one in which there would be no forbidden fruit — be accomplished.
The great proposition of human equality, the central idea of the Gettysburg Address as of the Declaration, … means that laws are rightfully for the benefit of the governed, not of the government. It means that those who live under the laws should share in making them and that those who make the laws must live under them.
It was hardly remarkable that a nation of slaveholders, upon declaring independence, did not at once abolish slavery. What was remarkable — perhaps more remarkable than any other event in human history — was that a nation of slaveholders declared that all men are created equal and thereby made the abolition of slavery a moral and political necessity.
Some latter-day critics of Lincoln wrongly attribute to him the leveling egalitarianism of twentieth-century socialism and welfare statism. In taking property from those who earn it and giving it to those who do not, in coming between the hand and the mouth of the producer or laborer, such egalitarianism reproduces the essential characteristics of slavery. Lincoln's doctrine of the relationship of capital and labor, which he elaborated in his first annual message to Congress, proposes no such thing. For Lincoln, the guarantee of rights means the guarantee that there shall be no intervention by law or government, as far as possible, between the work of any man's hand and his mouth
Those who live under the law have an equal right in the making of the law, and those who make the law have a corresponding duty to live under the law.
It is impossible to understand the quarrel over the right of secession that Lincoln addresses on July 4, 1861 — as it is impossible to understand either the American Revolution or the Civil War — without understanding the divergent interpretations of this doctrine [the right of revolution] of the Declaration as applied to the transformation of the Union from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution
The freedom and equality of rights propounded in the American Revolution were never understood to describe conditions belonging to or enjoyed by human beings without struggle or effort. They were not "entitlements" in the sense of gifts bestowed from above
[A historian like] Allan Nevins … thought that the institution of slavery was wrong because it was anachronistic, differing in this from Lincoln, who held slavery anachronistic because it was wrong.
Since Napoleon, the plebiscite has been the resource of tyrants to claim democratic (or republican) legitimacy for their regimes
Almost everything, the great statements of Lincoln, most of them are reviving and rephrasing things that he got from Jefferson. In the Notes on Virginia, Jefferson says that "Will the liberties of the people be secure when we have abolished their only sure foundation, the belief of the gift of God may not be violated but with his wrath?" And that is followed by "I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just." Lincoln's second inaugural was all there, see?!
What is the institutional root of evil in the world in which we inhabit? There is no question but that it is in the universities. That's where the teaching begins, that's where the high school and grade school teachers go to college and they learn that morality is subjective and they think [that] that is sophisticated thing to say
Imaginary dialogue with Ted Bundy: "I used to believe that [in the moral law] until I took my first college course in philosophy"