Saturday, March 13, 2010

Britain’s Got HAD Talent

Bob Geldof sounds out on what has grown rather obvious to any BBC World Service listener: their standards of journalism stink. In spite of that, they take it out on Bob Geldof’s good works while trying to make some silly argument about journalistic exceptionalism (or supremacy, if you boil it down to what’s implied):

Despite the on-the record refutation of everything in Plaut's report by very senior White House advisers, high-level UN delegates, senior British ex-ambassadors and diplomats, all the aid agencies, the leader of rest the Tigrayan relief group at the time, the prime minister of Ethiopia and rebel leader at the time, and me, and without a single shred of evidence, not one iota of evidence, they cannot bear to acknowledge the grim reality, the actual truth – that they were wrong. The BBC World Service is so far off the rails it quite literally cannot recognise or acknowledge truth when it encounters it.
What do they mean by ‘exceptionalism’? Every time the notion of ‘special rights’ for one sort of fashionable public feature comes up, such as it has been with journalism for a while, it seems rather obvious that what they want is a sort of status above the limitations a law-abiding person would live by. The only way to call these folks an ‘unimpeachable super citizen’ would be to insure that the general population has fewer rights (of free speech, of freedom from criticism, etc.,) than they do.

Friday, March 12, 2010


This appears to be reported with a straight face:

Greece’s budget deficit narrowed in the first two months of the year, the government said today before a European Commission deadline next week to show public finances are improving.

The January-February deficit dropped 77 percent to 903 million euros ($1.2 billion) compared with a year earlier, the Athens-based Finance Ministry said in a statement today. Ordinary revenue climbed 7.8 percent to 9.4 billion euros, less than the government’s target, while spending fell 9.6 percent to 8.9 billion euros.
This wouldn't happen to be one of the very same Greek governmental bodies which have been manipulating and cooking the economic data for years would it? Funny how deadlines and governmental data seem to merge so effortlessly at just the right time.

"This is not the right way for the United States to treat its European allies"

How be that Smart Diplomacy — treatin' friends and foes right — workin' for ya, Monsieur Obama?

"This is not the right way for the United States to treat its European allies," says Nicolas Sarkozy as the French — once more — give (Obama's) America a lesson in the way the world works or the way it should.

"If they want to be spearheading the fight against protectionism, they shouldn't be setting the wrong example of protectionism," the French President said, joined by Gordon Brown at Downing Street. "In life there is what you say and then there is what you do."

These Two are the Same, Only Different

we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it away from the fog of the controversy.

- Nancy Pelosi

The fog actually being her obfuscations of leaving us not knowing what we are supposed to proudly support as a measure more relevant than the US Constitution, grow the economy in spite of the cronyism, identity politics meddling, political patronage, and added overhead. We are supposed to thank these people for giving away our resources without our consent, etcetera, etcetera.

It is the political equivalent of:

Here, kid. Pull my finger.

- Georges

Man I feel good!

After reading this article in Spiegel last night I happily drifted off to sleep knowing my data privacy is being "protected":

When it comes to freedom, Americans and Europeans bring completely different ideals and definitions to the table. While Americans want to liberate consumers, Europeans seek to protect them.
Damnit man, my information is protected. I do not have to worry about my personal, private and financial details being bought, sold and used for purposes I am unaware of, government will protect me. Man, I feel good!

Nothing can shake my faith in being protected. No, nothing:

Germany said it was willing to pay a reward to a bank employee looking to sell stolen Swiss bank data. A German Finance Ministry spokesman said several sets of data have been offered in recent weeks and at least one data set has been purchased.

Well, no doubt for my own protection....

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will he be Declared a ‘Teabagger’ in Time for the Evening News?

Via Gatewaypundit:

Al-Qaeda terrorist, Sharif Mobley, was arrested in Yemen earlier this year. The New Jersey man shot two men at a hospital in Yemen over the weekend after being arrested in the company of several al-Qaeda members. Sharif Mobley, 26, was quietly detained earlier this year by Yemeni authorities.
The Yemenis should strip search all Americans trying to enter Yemen who belong to the Democratic Party.
Campaign finance records show Mobley received $75 as an election day worker for Gov. Jon Corzine’s campaign in 2005.
Call it inspiration. Call it 'I love it when a plan comes together'. Call it anything you want, but don't call it Kismet.

Symphony number Nein

Michael Yon, a modern day Ernie Pyle, reports from Afghanistan that he has been receiving complaints about a negligent lack of support for US operators by the Spanish military at a Forward Operating Base. Those writing to him include an officer of the 82nd Airborne. CENTCOM is likely not making much of the story to keep the peace, but should deal with the issue swiftly to end this reckless endangerment.

Qal E Naw: The Spanish are not interested in helping in anyway, and are trying to make us decide to leave based on their unacceptable treatment of Americans. Our refuelers [soldiers who refuel helicopters] that are living there have to run out, unroll the hoses, pull security, and roll everything back up. They have asked for gravel along the FLS as it is currently calf deep mud, but the Spanish refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a T barrier (just one) to put at a 45 degree angle outside the fence where the FARP [Forward Arming and Refueling Point; where helicopters land for ammo and gas] has to be set up so they can run for cover in case there is small arms fire, the Spanish say no and refuse to make any improvements. They asked for a small gate where their billets are located so they can access the FARP directly rather than going a half mile loop to get out the gate, but the Spanish said no and refuse to make any improvements. They [sic] guys are living hard (we understand that) but have to do laundry by hand as all of their stuff is stolen if they turn it into the laundry, they discussed this with the Spanish, but they refuse to many any improvements.
Call it “Everyday meetings with Common Europeans”, if you wish, but it illustrates what happens quite often when a small-minded character is made an official, and is given a little bit of power over others.
USFOR-A needs to energize someone to develop a viable, enduring plan for this FARP that isn’t reliant on the Spanish. This is a key hub for fuel (since we can’t get trucks to [xxx] or [xxx]) so let’s improve this location to better support those guys living out there on the edge by themselves. They refused to allow a Marine detachment that was dropped there to come into the wire or feed them overnight. Our refuelers had to fight the Spanish to bring them in and squeeze them into the two small tents that they have and give them MREs as they [sic] Spanish wouldn’t feed them. Is this how we allow our Coalition partners to treat Americans?
The Spanish government, led by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

The irony is that Zapatero’s obsession with looking statesmanlike by finding as many photo-ops as possible with the US president is impossible under these circumstances. It nearly mirrors Erich Honecker’s obsession with the idea of constructing legitimacy and recognition for East Germany with the fantasy that he would find himself visiting the Oval Office for tough negotiations with Reagan. In both cases, the goal is self-aggrandizement on absurdly undeserved grounds.

At least in the case of Honecker, the Soviets were speaking for him to an extent, and there were reasons to talk to them. The Spaniards, on the other hand are trying to look like they are speaking for the EU, and trying to get above the din of the other Europeans in the auction pit, even though there really isn’t anything to talk about with the EU in the state they’re in.
We arrived during a TIC [fighting] and a MEDEVAC mission. The aircraft have to land/park in a field that has no gravel and then they sink into the ground. They have to be moved everyday to pull them back out of the mud. If we can’t get gravel, how about putting some AM2 matting, stakes and a couple of Red Horse guys on a CH-47 and fly them in to build a couple of pads just big enough to park an individual UH-60 on? We’ve been pushing the gravel issues since last fall and are no closer to a solution. Those guys are living in fighting positions. When it begins to warm up in the next month, that field will be untenable
Yon summarizes:
So, our soldiers and Marines, living in rough conditions at the far tip of the spear, apparently are being treated with contempt, with all basic support denied, from laundry to the conditions of the field on which our troops do their thankless job. If this report is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, the Spanish are endangering the lives of our warriors by failing to provide basic safety.
They were sent out to the tip of the spear, and the Spanish offer you a butter knife. They cannot be there to merely “appear involved” for some selfish purposes and endanger the success of something that they hope will legitimate their leadership potential.

They need to go away before they get somebody killed.

U.S. Air Force Nurse, Lucy Lehker, comforts a Canadian soldier.

Visit Denmark: Tourism Bureau Unveils New Ads

Denmark Introduces Harrowing New Tourism Ads Directed By Lars Von Trier

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Intellectual Tyranny! Now with 30% more Umlauts!

Just as Geert Wilders’ party wins after so much being done to prosecute him for being uppity and exercising his right to free speech, the distorted European political discourse founded on demonization continues.

Mark Steyn:

Putting to one side the stupidity of the Dutch establishment in attempting to criminalize legitimate political opposition, one is struck by the media boilerplate: Wilders is the "extreme" "far-right" "fringe", but the parties he beats are the "mainstream"? That there is a lot of what's wrong with the European political discourse. Maybe he only seems so "extreme" and "far" because you're the one out on the fringe.
Got that? It’s the party with the most votes that’s being universally called by the European press to be the fringe, and the losers that they know and love with less than 14% of the vote that are called ‘the mainstream’.

Much like the use of the term “ultra droite” to refer to ANY conservative in France never being matched by the ameliorating term “gauche de la gauche” when referring to the carnival of destructive leftist radicals, they play into one idiotic notion after another.

The “ultra right” identified by the “ultra left” are a handful of neo-fascists who are just in love with a all-powerful state as the left are, and are, in fact, leftists themselves. Anarchists (the true, “no government at all” kind), coddled joyously by the “ultra left” are the only fringe element you could actually call “ultra right”, but only after you weed out the Trotskyite agitators.

Leaving aside that they think the minority parties are the mainstream, and vice versa, they avoid the ideological spectrum altogether in favor of the kind of story that can be written in a drunken stupor off of their yellowing 3-by-5 cards. The issue is a matter of how much central government/ local government/ no government you want in your life on specific issues.

Broadly accepted without questioning the matter, is the idea that the Netherlands is some kind of nirvana of liberty. Not so. Article 7 of their constitution, which is supposed to invauably encapsulate rights, formalizes a collection of middle-minded bugaboos more than anything else. The seed are there of making rights of free speech having a relationship with who you are:
This article has only been partially changed in the 1983 revision, as it was linked to very complicated case law. Subarticle 1 contains the classic freedom of the press. Any censorship is absolutely forbidden. However, formal law can otherwise limit this freedom, e.g. by making a certain content punishable under penal law. Such limitative powers cannot be delegated to lower administrative bodies such as municipalities and this includes the concomitant right of distribution of printed materials. However, the Supreme Court has nevertheless ruled since 1950 that such bodies may in fact limit the distribution of materials, if such a limitation is not based on the content of those materials and does not imply a complete impediment to any separate means of distribution. They may e.g., limit the spreading of pamphlets to certain hours for reasons of public order.
Subarticle 2 has the same arrangement for television and radio broadcasts.
Subarticle 3, added in 1983, gives a general right of expression, for those cases neither printed nor broadcasted information is involved; this includes the freedom of speech. Again, no censorship is ever allowed, but the right can otherwise be limited by formal law; explicitly mentioned in subarticle 3 is the possibility to limit the viewing of movies by minors under the age of sixteen. Although no delegation is possible, lower bodies may limit the exercise of the right for reasons of public order if such limitations are not based on the content of the expressed views. Subarticle 4 states that commercial advertising is not protected by article 7.

The Dutch constitution does not contain a freedom of gathering of information.
Journalists have ‘exrta speech rights’ set aside which by virtue of that fact would have to be limited to others’, begging the question: who exactly is a journalist, and what foundation in law do those who are permitted to declare someone a journalist, or declare that they are not a journalist, have?

Why is advertizing different, and who can stretch that definition? i.e., the advertizing of ideas, and the over-extention of that power to give municipal authorities the right to distribute materials.

Why are radio and television different than speech or print? The whole thing isn’t just uninspired, it’s peevish – as buggy as the notions harbored by the European advocacy press that doesn’t consider for a moment that a nation can lawfully exercise sovereignty when it comes to putting figures to immigration, but does when it feels like prosecuting speech.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

When Gaddafi Takes Offense at a (Rather Harmless) Comment, Apologizer-in-Chief's State Department Immediately Issues an Apology

Remember the era of Ronald Reagan? And how he, rightly, called Muammar Gaddhafi a "mad dog"?

In the era of the Apologizer-in-Chief's New Feel-Good American Foreign Policy©™, how things have changed. When a US State Department spokesman refers to a row involving Colonel Gaddhafi, rightly, as "lots of words, not necessarily a lot of sense" and when it turns out that the colonel is in turn offended, this, in the era of Smart Diplomacy, brings about… an apology.
Department spokesman PJ Crowley, who made the dismissive comments, said they did not reflect US policy and were not intended to offend.

Col Gaddafi had criticised a Swiss vote against the building of minarets and urged Muslims to boycott the country.

Mr Crowley described it as "lots of words, not necessarily a lot of sense."
When this offended Gaddafi (0r Kaddhafi or however you spell the tyrant's name), the U.S. State Department hastened to apologize. And the leftists are surprised that a (leftist!) poll finds that a majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago?!
"I should have focused solely on our concern about the term jihad, which has since been clarified by the Libyan government," Mr Crowley added.

"I understand my personal comments were perceived as a personal attack on the president," he said.

"These comments do not reflect US policy and were not intended to offend. I apologise if they were taken that way."

Perceived as a personal attack on the tyrant the president… That, in the 1980s, was exactly what Ronald Reagan intended and exactly what Gaddafi deserved (and… still does deserve)…

From the DDR to the EU

One is agitprop, the other is Pauvre moi, pauvre moi self-pity.

Either way, it's the same slant, different century.

Monday, March 08, 2010

France "deliberately supported" Rwanda's "genocidal regime and its genocidal project before, during, and after the genocide"

From Boston, Noam Schimmel comments on Anjan Sundaram's New York Times news report, Sarkozy acknowledges "grave errors" on Rwanda (Feb. 26), in which we learn that the first French head of state to visit Rwanda since the genocide (in which more than 800,000 people, mostly minority Tutsi, were killed) said that “We want to turn the page” and that Sarkozy admitted that France and the international community had operated under “a form of blindness to not have seen the genocidal dimensions” of the former Hutu government:

To survivors of the genocide in Rwanda and to human rights advocates, the oblique and morally obtuse statement from President Nicolas Sarkozy of France is deeply offensive.

France did not merely make errors of judgment. It deliberately supported through military training, weapons provision and economic aid the genocidal regime and its genocidal project before, during and after the genocide. After the genocide, it gave safe haven to those who carried out atrocities.

The French government has both the legal and the moral obligation to acknowledge its violation of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and its complicity in genocide.

The French government should apologize and provide reparations to the Rwandan government and to the survivors of the genocide, as they seek to rebuild their lives and rehabilitate their communities.

There can be no turning the page, as Mr. Sarkozy insisted, without truth and justice.
France, incidentally — just to provide a timely reminder — is the country otherwise known as the perennial sermonizer on human rights, the evils of war, and the benefits of peace and discussion to the clueless retards in America. Anjan Sundaram's New York Times news report continues:
Mr. Sarkozy also said that Radio France International would begin broadcasting in Rwanda this year. The rift between France and Rwanda has coincided with Rwanda’s break from its French-speaking past under Mr. Kagame. Last year, the national language was changed from French to English, and Rwanda also obtained membership in the Commonwealth, widely seen as a snub to France.

… While many Rwandans were pleased with Mr. Sarkozy’s visit, some saw it as another French rebuff. “He should have stayed more than three hours,” said Sam Kagabo, a journalist in the capital. “The French are here after 16 years. He should have given more respect to Rwandans.”

Coming Soon: Gravity to be Legislated!

I know you’re all practically peeing yourselves in giddy anticipation:

Brussels to unveil economic plan for next decade
There’s nothing quite as rousing as being forcefully led! It sure puts a smile on the collective European face, even if they did seem to have had their senses of humor surgically removed.
After a decade of the EU's failed efforts to become the world's most dynamic knowledge-based economy, Brussels is laying down a fresh economic vision based on innovation, education and digital technologies. However, it stops short of introducing sanctions to ensure national capitals this time stick to the plan.
The beatings will continue until morale a fresh economic vision based on innovation, education and digital technologies improves!

Have ou ever had to listen to teachers droning on about the evils of standardized testing, taking comps, and all of that insight-crippling “teaching to the test stuff”? Well here it is on a continental scale. Don’t forget your number 2 pencils, kids!
"The monitoring of progress towards these targets should become an integral part of our economic governance,"
Just as long as that data isn’t going through the SWIFT network.
Under the bloc's new, post-Lisbon Treaty set-up, member states will have no chance to formally debate the proposals ahead of the summit in sectoral councils of energy or finance ministers, giving the commission extra power to force its ideas through.
Any resemblance this has to ‘tractor production quotas’ is unintentional. Completely, and entirely without awareness of irony... unintentional.

Subjugation Is Not Change We Wanted Or Will Accept

We did not become a strong nation through hope
but rather through self-reliance…
(Thanks to Mark who links to A Soldier Speaks Out on Iraq, from Iraq)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Count Me Three Times While I take up more Oxygen

Senior Italian diplomat Francesco Paolo Fulci is arguing in support of German FM Westerwelle’s Jihad to get the EU “a seat on the security council”, in spite of the two they already have in the form of the UK and France. Even at the proposed expanded size, this would still represent 1/3 of the UNSC when the EU members are barely capable of playing a role in European security, let alone that of any other region of the world.

It’s a curious thing, this endless jockeying for more leverage... what on earth do they think they’re going to do with it, even if the rest of humanity were convinced that they DO deserve it?

In the short-term, why not ask the EU member that is elected to the Security Council for two years – which at the moment is Austria – to include a senior civil servant from the country that is currently in charge of the EU Presidency — Spain will take over on 1st January— in its delegation? This would enable a Spanish diplomat to be present in the Council's "holy of holies" right behind the Austrian ambassador. The presence of a representative of the EU Presidency would enable Europe to follow developments on issues presented to the council; and if there is a common European position on a particular issue, the Spanish representative – with the consent of the Austrian ambassador – could express the EU point of view, and enable Europe to take the floor when major decisions concerning war and peace in the world are being decided.
Why not stop peddling your technology to dictators first? No entity on earth has exhibited MORE inconsistency, and LESS responsibility than the Europeans have. Take for example the matter of weapons proliferation: their entire schtick is limited to appearing to be doing something about it while covering for Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Otherwise in that department, they appear entirely unable to find North Korea or Pakistan on a map. China is only a human rights abuser when a politico needs to grandstand at home – they’re otherwise one hell of a customer.

Though a demonized image of the US might scare the shy little children of the Euro-village, there is no objective reason to trust the Europeans with anyone’s security.