Saturday, August 21, 2010

Abraham Lincoln Reloaded: The House Divided Speech, Updated for 2010

Abraham Lincoln's House Divided speech (thanks to Greerwyn), updated for the 21st century

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half socialist and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of socialism will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new -- North as well as South, East as well as West.

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

See also: Honest Abe's Cooper Union Speech Described the Way Members of the Republican Party Were Demonized

They have Issues Even when they don’t Really have Issues

Cannibalism in the news? Nope. Peevish characters living in the human warehouse that is Europe quibbling over stuff they’re getting ‘for free’ to begin with or something, that is, when they aren’t whinging about the neighbors.

he said he couldn’t stomach Swedes
Seriously, I doubt that this is a stunt where the guy’s trying to make a point.
Even though it may be difficult for the man, who became a Swede in 1998, to win asylum in Denmark, police point out that as an EU citizen, he is welcome to live here.
An EU citizen, they’re sticking to the continent’s traditions. He’s being sent to a detention camp.

Elsewhere in the land of unreal non-issues: the natives are orbiting Pluto.
According to the report, the two, who are unnamed, decided to ‘try something out’ for their last day in Paris, and left their hotel dressed only in shoes.

After purchasing a chocolate croissant at the local baker in the 18th arondissement, the couple went walkabout, ending up at a metro station
Let’s hope that they weren’t so blessed out that they actually sat down, because then they would need to be sheep-dipped, doused in ammonia, deloused, and put on a course of Cipro.

There is also a long looked-forward-to spanking in their future as well.
The Prefecture of Police says in its report that walking naked around Paris can carry a punishment of up to a year’s imprisonment and a EUR 15,000 fine for sexual exposure.
Whatever happened to Il est interdit d'interdire?, and the evil those puritanical Americans were punitively pushing their hang-ups on the peeps of Smurf village?

Mr. Singh, your country was never occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army!

…while many Japanese understandably have bitter memories of World War II, many of us throughout Asia, whose countries the Japanese occupied during that war, have our own searing memories
writes F Sionil Jose from Manila.
Some 20 years ago, my wife and I were in Kawazaki near Tokyo for a writers’ conference. In the first plenary session, a delegate from Calcutta started excoriating the U.S. for incinerating Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I was incensed, I stood from the floor and shouted, “Mr. Singh, your country was never occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army!”

Meanwhile, readers to Le Monde complain about the partisan attitude of the daily's article.

Friday, August 20, 2010

America's President Greets Troops Returning Home From Iraq and Afghanistan

The President of the United States and the First Lady greet American soldiers returning from overseas…

Can a Little Intellectual Élite in a Far Distant Capital Plan Our Lives for Us Better Than We Can Plan Them Ourselves?

Guidbye Caraid

Sad news from the New York Times's John F Burns:
Bill Millin, a Scottish bagpiper who played highland tunes as his fellow commandos landed on a Normandy beach on D-Day and lived to see his bravado immortalized in the 1962 film “The Longest Day,” died on Wednesday in a hospital in the western England county of Devon. He was 88.

In later years Mr. Millin told the BBC he did not regard what he had done as heroic. When Lord Lovat insisted that he play, he said, “I just said ‘O.K.,’ and got on with it.” He added: “I didn’t notice I was being shot at. When you’re young, you do things you wouldn’t dream of doing when you’re older.”

He said he found out later, after meeting Germans who had manned guns above the beach, that they didn’t shoot him “because they thought I was crazy.”

Bend Over and try their "New" Atlanticism, America

Trying to regain ground with the United States, the EU is proposing to upgrade the transatlantic relationship beyond traditional Atlanticism to one that is results-oriented and guided by strategic priorities.
The “upgrade” in the new atlanticism that they propose, as usual will be “we hold the summits, you provide the firepower”. This, from a continent where the word “atlanticist” has mutated to be used as an personal insult for talking heads and would-be policy wonks.
In a world of new threats and challenges, Barroso underlined the need for a more dynamic partnership, one that would be more outward-looking and engage more third parties, including China, India and Brazil.
All of which sound cute, if not painfully obvious that the best they can do is to try to get the rest of the world to do their donkey-work. These are 500 million people, the wealthiest entity on earth, trying to pawn off their security problems not just on the US, but on nations like Canada and India, something they do every time they wring their hands and urgently call for a “peacekeeping force” in order to lull the voices in their heads shouting that homus occasus, western man, is responsible for some sort of action that produces impressions that compassion is being played out, even if someone is just mouthing the words. Just don’t ask them.

It also sounds just easy-peasy on their part, because they really don’t have anything to offer other than spooks that spike any initiative you undertake and a debate mechanism that enables evil to arm itself with nukes.
EU-US cooperation in US President Barack Obama's first year has a mixed record at best, and certainly falls short of the hopes fuelled by his election in 2008.
Because their only desire was to ignore any real problem out there in humanity that presented itself, wanted to look like they were solving the fake crices that they could script the narrative to, and basically wanted their very own flunky in the White House.
If Brussels has focused in the past five years on consolidating the enlarged European Union and the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, the Barroso II Commission is determined to frame an agenda for a global Europe and that cannot be achieved without the US.

However, the European Union does not possess anything like a global foreign and security policy, or even a transatlantic policy, notes Stelzenmüller. The relationship between the EU and the US is old, broad and deep, she added, but it is not strategic – at least not as far as America is concerned, she added.
In other words, it is just as irrelevant as the sum of its’ parts, and needs the truly engaged entities in the world to play dress-up and pretend that they matter – until someday they are declared to matter having done nothing substantive to get there.

“Frame an agenda for a global?” My guess is that even Obama isn’t enough of an ingenue to bite. Add to that the hilarious attempt to characterize the make-work issues like the sea that isn’t rising and the European appeals for aid that they can’t swing, the EU has a “values” in themselves:
Denying that there was a "values crisis" in transatlantic relations, Ashton said the relationship would continue "forever".

Taking issue with Ashton, Estonian President Toomas Ilves said the problems that had dominated transatlantic relations for the last 60 years had been solved. "Europe is not on the radar screen in the way it has been in the past," he said, adding that "the real problems for the United States lie elsewhere"
As in we fixed your damned problems. You remember them: fascism, your liberties threatened by something called the CCCP, that Communism thing that murdered 100 million people, that religion you had of wanting to dismantle the free markets. Now go get a life, already. Europe LOST the ground with the United States by trying to trip it up at every turn, even with MINUTE issues that EUROPE initiated: i.e. they wanted the innocent waifs of Gitmo freed into their loving arms for the purpose of nagging interminably, but then didn’t. They didn’t want to be “left out” of Afghanistan, but most of the big playaz in Europe tacitly oppose it and were only willing to provide forces that wouldn’t expose themselves to risk. They demanded that aid go to Haiti, but criticized any minor detail that they could find. etc., etc., etc.

They think that THAT makes them involved – a “global Europe”. Obama should not even meet with them on the same simple grounds that one would not meet with a rebel entity that calls itself a nation, but has no functioning elements of governance that impact their external affairs, such as a diplomatic corps, an elected legislature, a stable military under the control of civilian leadership, a succession structure, and little internal bickering which would make one suspect that they’ll break down at any moment, and so on. The EU in any real respect has NONE of those things. In terms of classic legal legitimacy, it’s on par with Somalia when you really look at it, and yet they want to be universally declared the world’s pinnacle of Solomonic wisdom, and given the keys to a car that they don’t make the payments on.

Absolutely not, and certainly not making American security depend on them in any way either. Quite simply, they haven’t even yet done anything to demonstrate that they can be trusted.

And by the way, impotent rage and passive-aggression is NOT a policy strategy that will get the “Brussels Republic” any of the servile “partners” that they’re hoping to rope in.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A brief history of American politics

The two most important events in all of history … were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups
writes April Wine (thanks to Damien):
Democrats and Republicans.

A Glimpse into the Fever Swamp

As you know, they are having forest fires in Russia. As you might expect, the “real truth©™” is “some other thing” that makes those “in the know” feel that they have some special wisdom that the ugly mass of morons that they imagine their fellow man to be. It always seems to be dispensed by what one can only describe as a modern day soothsayer-charlatan:

As Muscovites suffer record high temperatures this summer, a Russian political scientist has claimed the United States may be using climate-change weapons to alter the temperatures and crop yields of Russia and other Central Asian countries.

In a recent article, Andrei Areshev, deputy director of the Strategic Culture Foundation, wrote, "At the moment, climate weapons may be reaching their target capacity and may be used to provoke droughts, erase crops, and induce various anomalous phenomena in certain countries."
The second recurring features required for this kind of thing (that never seems to go away,) is that those that buy into it think that natural phenomena CAN’T be natural, because they are somehow personalized. The proof of this being that it is happening to them.

The primary recurring feature is ignorance.
But Russia isn't the only country suffering form a heat wave this summer. Indeed, the United States is also experiencing record temperatures. On July 24, temperatures in Washington, D.C., hit 37.7 degrees, and local weather services issued heat warnings for the first time this summer.

Areshev agrees that it is also hot in the United States, but notes that the United States is significantly farther south than Russia, meaning that such high temperatures are not so surprising there.
Statistics be damned! Some mysterious, evil Ernst Stavro Blofeld type controls the universe, and the weather at that, and has it IN FOR HIM! Possibly because he (at least believes) that he matters THAT MUCH! It’s the perfect, virtue-less circle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sustaining a benevolent nanny state is proving to be challenging even for the notably generous Danes

…sustaining a benevolent nanny state is proving to be challenging even for the notably generous Danes
writes Liz Alderman in a New York Times article on Denmark that appeared on the front page of the International Herald Tribune.

Le Monde Lauds Michael Bloomberg as "a Mayor with Convictions", a Man Who Is Fighting a "Crusade"

New York has "a Mayor with Convictions" reads the article of Sylvain Cypel in Le Monde, as the journalist reproduces Micael [sic] Bloomberg's speech, conveniently ignoring the arguments of those that oppose him and Barack Obama. He adds that Bloomberg's effort amounts to a crusade, because crusades waged by leftists are (obviously) good while crusades waged by conservatives are (needless to say) the epitome of bad taste. (Plantu has more…)

We ‘R da World... We ‘R da Children...

Do you want to know what a pitiful, helpless giant looks like?

Pierre Lellouche, France's minister for EU affairs, has said that the EU should have a crisis response force to deal with emergencies such as Russia's wildfires.

In an interview with Le Figaro published today (10 August), Lellouche said: “At European level it would be good to have real mutual assistance capabilities in the case of emergencies”. Lellouche said that he had stressed to European partners the importance of pooling assets to create a European emergency force after the earthquake in Haiti.
Where the plea to not look impotent, and put the blue patch on the rescuers’ shoulders was also not heard.

They make this call, of course, any time anything visually regrettable comes across their television screens, and nothing ever happens. A few of them do seem to get a kick out of wringing their hands.

And to think that this is the sort of image that they’re looking for, if not trying to convince humanity that they ALREADY have: N-n-nooo! No guns or anything like that! No, we’re your fairy godmother. We’re there for the hard work of hearing people thank us, and being loved.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

For Decades, French Diplomacy Has Lived on an Illusion, "As If We Were Travelling in First Class with a Second-Class Ticket"

« Jamais nous n'avons été autant méprisés. »
The recent row over the allegedly sorry state of affairs of France's foreign affairs ministry has led the Le Monde's Natalie Nougayrède to devote two articles filling an entire page to the Quai d'Orsay.
Avec 160 ambassades et 21 représentations permanentes au sein des organisations internationales, la France a le deuxième réseau diplomatique au monde, après celui des Etats-Unis. Tout un symbole. Mais le gardera-t-elle longtemps encore ? « On a vécu pendant des décennies sur une illusion, comme si on voyageait en première classe avec un billet de seconde, commente un diplomate. Peut-être que la place de la France était sublimée, plus importante que la réalité... »

Monday, August 16, 2010

British Weekly Views Ground Zero Mosque Through the Liberals' Habitual Rose-Colored Lenses

The campaign against the proposed Cordoba centre in New York is unjust and dangerous
claims The Economist, the full cartoon of which (in the dead tree version) shows a wall being built by Newt Gingrich, the Anti-Defamation League, and Sarah Palin proclaiming "INTOLERANCE"

French Newspaper Views Ground Zero Mosque Through the Liberals' Habitual Rose-Colored Lenses

With his ubiquitous dove flying about and with a pair of arms rising to the skies — in replacement of the World Trade Center — to symbolize the harmony of all religions, Plantu lauds New York's planned Ground Zero mosque as a diversity-representing enterprise to bring about a new dawn — symbolized by the American flag's colors in the sky — for peace in the world…

Update: Le Monde Lauds Michael Bloomberg as "a Mayor with Convictions", a Man Who Fighting a "Crusade"

Bush and Blair to open new Ground Zero Mosque on 9/11 2011

Ten years to the day that fundamentalist Islamists brought down the World Trade Center in New York with a plane laden with passengers, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W Bush will pay tribute to the rise of Islamism in the once cutely named land of the free, home of the brave
says a press release (thanks to Blair Supporter).
Thousands are expected to attend the opening of the Grand Mosque/Community Center a few hundreds yards from Ground Zero, where the remains of many of the 3,000 plus victims of Islamic fundamentalism still lie.
Make sure to read the whole thing (particularly the final caveat)…

Passing the (Political) Dutchie by the Left Hand Side

Intellectually speaking, they are indeed in a room with the blinds drawn for their comfort.

There was one thing you couldn't do at HempCon: Smoke pot. The director of the event asked the city for permission to set up a self-medication tent inside but they city said no. So any smoking -- cigarette or otherwise -- couldn't take place closer than 25 feet from the convention hall.
”Self medicating”. That’s interesting. Just don’t try to “medicate” yourself with tobacco in Baghdad on the bay, though.
San Francisco, which was at the vanguard of the anti-smoking movement more than a decade ago when it became one of the first American cities to bar people from lighting up in the workplace, now is poised to enact much tougher restrictions on smoking in public places.

Smokers no longer would be allowed to puff away near the doors, vents and operable windows of any building - restaurants, shops, offices and housing complexes.
Elsewhere... bongs in the news: head shops, like the rest of the culture of those who like to get f*cked up, are using libertarian arguments when they’re convenient. I wonder where they stand on de-socializing the cost of medical care? Because once announce that “what you do with your body is up to you”, you should not expect anyone else to pay the cost of fixing it.

Seriously. Choose one: what you’re calling you freedom, or other peoples’ Doritos, Yoo Hoo, and their rules.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Portrait of a Douchebag as a Young Man

Or rather a description of Daniel Cohn-Bendit during the May 1968 “your money or your life” revolution, to be more accurate.

What was unique about the Sorbonne, to which Cohn-Bendit had referred, what made it the model of the entire revolt, was its refusal of all leadership. People normally fear revolutions, on any scale, not necessarily because they fear disorder (for, in fact, disorder is often exhilarating), but because they fear the severity of a new order which succeeds the abandon. On the reverse side of the wild card that is revolution lurks the constant threat of dictatorship. In the French movement, which was directed specifically against an authoritarian regime, the participants were not about to allow another system to install itself where the previous one had cruelly reigned.
Except for the fact that so many of them joined hard left, revolutionary parties that look to authoritarian notions and leaders such as Lenin, Mao, and a man many of them could not bring themselves to really criticize: Stalin.
The walls of the Sorbonne, for so long deaf and dumb to the problems of the emerging consumer society, now rebounded with Marx and Lenin, Freud and Che Guevara, offering some lessons of their own: IT IS FORBIDDEN TO FORBID. ALL POWER TO THE IMAGINATION. ANSWER EXAMS WITH QUESTIONS. WE WANT A WORLD, NEW AND ORIGINAL. WE REFUSE A WORLD WHERE THE ASSURANCE OF NOT DYING FROM HUNGER IS EXCHANGED FOR THE RISK OF DYING FROM BOREDOM.
A curious thing for advocates of a welfare state parasitically drawing from the entrails of its former prosperity in tacitly state-run industries. Try as they will to characterize anything these louts thought to ‘libertarian’ in nature is as big a lie as the one the Warsaw Pact leaders used to tell: that THEY were the real democracies, and that their citizens were the ones who were truly free.