Saturday, September 18, 2010

We the People: Honoring Constitution Day

The Heritage Foundation's Ed Feulner weighs in
(Sorry for bringing this a day late…)

Only a Couple of Years After WWII, Americans Were Personae Non Gratae in French Workplaces

A friend and I recently toured la Monnaie de Paris (the Paris Mint) to view the exhibit of
150 works by French humanist photographer Willy Ronis, who would have turned 100 this year.

The photos were/are terrific, but… Needless to say, and as we found out while touring the exhibit, the "humanist" descriptive is shorthand for communist. Indeed, for communist militant. For communist militant who photographed workers' strikes, leftist demonstrations, and other social conflicts and who traveled to East Germany to show the French that life behind the Iron Curtain was as normal as that in France.

What's more, we soon learned from the exhibit's captions that by 1947 — only two years after the end of the war — French photographers were in demand because Americans (i.e., American photographers) were personae non gratae in French workers' working places!
American reporters … were often unwelcome in places with social conflict — the Cold War had started — and to cover this type of story, Life often had to turn to French photographers.
To recap:
• A photographer (i.e., a "passive" job) and a communist militant =
a hero (then and today — i.e., witness the very existence of
exhibits like this one), someone to be welcomed with open arms.
• Americans = causes of international hostility, unsavory people
who deserve (!) to be scorned and to be made felt unwelcome.

Isn't it rewarding to realize — this a couple of years after "nos amis américains" stormed the beaches of Normandy to proceed towards the liberation of Paris and the rest of Europe —
1) whom it is that the French consider a hero and
2) whom it is, conversely, that they consider uncouth and unwelcome in their midst?

No, Really. You Go First.

Friday, September 17, 2010

For a Nation Used to Giving Americans Lessons on Firearms and Police Trust, France Has Been Amassing Quite a Collection of Bullet-Ridden Bodies

The slightest dispute, and the caliber — Kalashnikov, Scorpio, Uzi, automatic pistol — is resorted to, with a conclusion reached only at the cemetery.
UPDATED (below). While French policemen are busy pestering law-abiding citizens with a myriad of fines and an increasing habit of arbitrarily placing them in police custody, elsewhere violence is erupting, Yves Bordenave reports in Le Monde. For a nation — and a continent — used to give Americans lessons 1) on the follies of possessing firearms, 2) on the (related) benefits of trusting the police, and 3) on the (resulting) peace that will follow for society, France has displayed an impressive, and a macabre, collection of bullet-ridden bodies this summer…
Dans [la ville de Marseille] où le milieu "avec un grand M" conserve des positions importantes dans le monde des jeux et des établissements nocturnes, le grand banditisme est aujourd'hui dépassé par ce que Roland Gauze, le directeur interrégional de la police judiciaire de Marseille, appelle "le banditisme des cités". Les parrains corso-marseillais, qui ont longtemps fait régner leur ordre implacable sur le monde du crime, voient la montée en puissance de ces nouveaux adeptes de la gâchette sans foi ni loi.

Leur fond de commerce est le trafic de stupéfiants, essentiellement le cannabis dont la vente fait florès dans les quartiers nord de la ville. Ces territoires sont autant de marchés que se disputent de jeunes truands, organisés sur le modèle des gangs.

…Le chiffre d'affaires quotidien peut dépasser les 10 000 euros pour un seul point de vente ; une activité qui rapporte gros et ne souffre pas la concurrence. Les équipes, composées d'une quinzaine d'individus, s'approprient un territoire (en général autour de leur domicile) qu'ils contrôlent arme au poing. Aucune intrusion n'y est tolérée. Le moindre litige se règle au gros calibre — kalachnikov, Scorpio, Uzi, pistolet automatique — et finit au cimetière. "Il n'y a pas de mise à l'amende, pas de peine intermédiaire. On tire sans préavis, comme dans les séries télé", explique M. Gauze.

The model of the drug trafficking groups, or gangs, adds Yves Bordenave, is usually organized among family members or among friends

L'analyse des données détaillées montre une diminution significative des infractions les moins graves, portant sur les biens, notamment les vols de véhicules (-36,6%) ou les dégradations et incendies de voiture (-27,7%), et une augmentation importante des atteintes aux personnes, notamment des violences
ajoute Luc Bronner dans son rapport du Monde qui constate "une augmentation des "crimes et délits contre les personnes" de 42,4 % en huit ans."
Le nombre de dépôts de plainte pour "coups et blessures" a augmenté de 53%. Les violences contre les personnes dépositaires de l'autorité, notamment les policiers, ont crû de 30%. Les vols avec violence ont augmenté de 15% sur cette période.
On ne s'étonnera donc pas que les armes, destinés à des cités sensibles d'Ile-de-France, forment un trafic très rentable, avec pour clients des bandes spécialisées dans le grand banditisme, selon Piotr Smolar in Le Monde.
Les policiers de l'office central de lutte contre le crime organisé (OCLCO) interviennent au moment où les sacs sont chargés à bord du véhicule volé de Necho, pourvu d'une fausse plaque d'immatriculation. Ils y découvrent huit pistolets-mitrailleurs Ingram de calibre 9 mm, avec chacun un silencieux, ainsi que des munitions.

The Double Standards in Jon Stewart's Comedy Show

First of all, let's get this straight. I like laughing.
I like enjoying myself. I am also (more than) willing to take hits for "my" team and laugh at any incongruity on "my" side. I've also watched the Daily Show quite a few times and think that Jon Stewart is a funny guy. Therefore, I want to like Jon Stewart and his Daily Show.

Except for one thing: like I've always stated, my reason for blogging and the reason for my political viewpoints and my reason for generally supporting conservatives can all be boiled down to the fact that I do not like double standards and I do not like injustice.

Case in point: Stewart's handling of two heads of state that appeared on his show, within a couple of days of each other. With Tony Blair, the leftist comedian is interviewing the former British Prime Minister about Iran and about the Iraq War (which Stewart opposes), and he will not let Blair (related material on the alleged "poodle" charge here) talk, as he keeps interrupting Blair with his "Yes, buts"… (As a friend wrote, he "behaved very unpolite. He was talking at least 70% of the time. You cannot ask someone like TB about such a complex issue like Iran and don't give him a possibility to make his point.")

Compare that with the latest guest on the show: Jon Stewart simply let Bill Clinton take over the (comedy) show with his statistics and his opinions and his politicizing (for the Democratic Party, which the comedian supports), adding nary a comment, funny or otherwise, and simply sitting back… (There was actually a — rare — moment of hilarity as the 42nd president stated, deadpan, that his daughter's wedding happened to be "my contribution to the economic stimulus.") Which is fine (Jon Stewart's reaction, I mean), except: do not use double standards.

Note to talk shows, comic or other: either you let everybody have their say, whether you agree with them or not, or you break into all their comments with funny asides, whether you like their opinions or not…

Aren't leftists (serious or other) always railing about fairness and equality and every member of society getting their fair share? Comedy, and levity, and satire, is supposed to be directed at everyone. With the same levels of wit. There aren't supposed to be any double standards… There isn't supposed to be any injustice in the dishing out…

BSP8R, Private Doofus

The passive-aggressive “pacifist”left has lost its’ hobgoblin and its’ imaginary foil: the German CDU-led government has decided to end conscription and rely on a an all-volunteer force. Not only does thin out the ranks of the thoughtless buffoons that a soldier in harm’s way need no longer depend on with his life, takes the Mickey out of the endless blathering rhetoric of the German far left’s argument that “our children” (whom they can’t seem to stop hating,) are cannon fodder for whatever war that comes along.

While compulsory service will be abolished, the alternative Berlin daily wonders aloud if this is truly "a triumph for the pacifist left". Its answer is a firm nein: "On the contrary, when Germany is called on to take part in a war more than 1,000 km away, (the army) doesn't need a horde of fresh recruits, but rather teams of specialists in security and modern weaponry".
Funny that with all the “hey, I play fist-person-shooter games too” talk of robocops with sooper-dooper death ray weapons, that they can’t even imagine what the social dynamics of an all-volunteer force are.

Never mind the fact that their deployments since 1945 have been limited to police duty in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, unless you count the DDR’s “advisors” to the Sandinistas and to South Yemen.

For two generations, the only group of people that have benefitted more from the spilling of other people’s blood and treasure have been Kim Jong Il’s cronies, and Swiss bankers. It’s time that the war-obsessed anti-defense suicide cult in Germany did the halts Maul! and get real for once.

In the mean time, Die Welt reports that:
"The nostalgic invocation of the usefulness of conscription could no longer stand up to the facts: When fewer than 7,000 out of a total of 250,000 soldiers are available for missions abroad; when just 14 percent of young men are drafted; when even the majority within the military itself supports reform -- in such a case, renewal is unavoidable."
(Translation by Spiegel Online.) The protesting types are angry armies even exist, so it comes as no surprise that they wouldn’t “support the (conscription of) troops” so long as they remain in an ineffectual state. Some Conservatives, on the other hand, have always seen it as a means toward social cohesion, and to keep otherwise feral youts under control long enough for them to get a grip on their warm and charming personalities. Either way, they cannot afford it, or are unwilling to go on as they have in an embarrassingly low state of readiness.

One Fourth of the Citizens of Brussels, the European Capital Where the Very Rich and the Very Poor Work Side by Side, Live Below the Poverty Level

Capitale internationale, belge et (officiellement) flamande, [Bruxelles] génère près de 25 % du produit intérieur brut du pays mais un quart de ses habitants vivent sous le seuil de pauvreté.
According the information in the Jean-Pierre Stroobants article in Le Monde, the capital of the European Union, i.e., the capital of those hundreds of millions of people who are constantly giving Americans lessons in social norms and in generosity and in redistributing riches — and that Americans such as, say, Barack Obama constantly eulogize and desperately want to emulate — has a poverty level that covers fully one quarter (!) of its inhabitants. And that ain't all: the unemployment rate in Brussels is the highest in Belgium, which the French daily calls the "city where the very wealthy and the very poor live side by side."
Et puis, le chômage y est le plus élevé du pays (20 %, et même 35 % chez les moins de 25 ans). Enfin, des études évoquent le risque d'une explosion sociale, liée à la "balkanisation" de cette ville où se côtoient très riches et très pauvres.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I am not Above Torturing Our Readers

¡No Pasarán! presents ”The Final Countdown” on the KazooKeylele.


A Portrait in Cognitive Dissonance

It will be a hard day for some on the benighted continent to get through. The vessel of their political hopes, Fidel Castro has urged the character idolized for his “Russell the Lovemuscle” approach to the Great Satan™ and the Little Satan™, Ahmedinejad, to stop using the foaming blather of his delusions as an intelligence report.

Castro reportedly said "the Iranian government must understand the consequences of anti-Semitic theology" while urging Ahmadinejad "to abandon Holocaust denial and refrain from slandering Jews."
Minds all over Bobo –town must be imploding.
The reporter asked him if he would be prepared to say that to the Iranian president and Castro responded: “I am saying this so you can communicate it.
That’ll leave a mark.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The story of Dien Bien Phu’s fall is an epic of endurance—like Bataan or Stalingrad—of men fighting to the limits of body and spirit

A conservative American magazine, the Weekly Standard, pays homage to Marcel Bigeard, with Robert Messenger praising his French troops at Dien Bien Phu (merci à Pat Patterson).
Popular historians tell us the French staked everything on Dien Bien Phu. But just 4 percent of the French troops in Indochina were holding down 60 percent of [Vo Nguyen] Giap’s fighting units. … The story of Dien Bien Phu’s fall is an epic of endurance—like Bataan or Stalingrad—of men fighting to the limits of body and spirit. Though [Pierre] Langlais never got the reinforcements he wanted, each day volunteers parachuted into the camp, between 1,800 and 2,600 soldiers during the battle’s last month, most at night, through heavy flak, and uncertain they would even land on French-held ground. Some arrived the night before it fell, jumping into a fortress that they knew was doomed. … The French at Dien Bien Phu had found their Thermopylae, but there would be no Salamis or Plataea.

Heeb-Hating Surrender Monkeys

Jacob finds this interesting piece on Europe’s “Jewish problem,” as in “Europeans and their problem with Jews,” as in “What’s your problem”...

In short, the answer is jealousy.
Actually I prefer to call it penis envy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sarkozy's ambitions seem to have shrunk along with his poll ratings

The incredible shrinking président
His ambitions seem to have shrunk along with his poll ratings. Time to rediscover the original grand vision

Je t'aime, moi non plus

Of Dictators and Cuckoo Clocks

The city of Trier, spitting distance from the border with Luxembourg, a nation once thoroughly sodomized by Germans, has after 75+ years finally taken away Adolf Hitler’s honorary citizenship.

Believe it or not, some 4000 German cities gave the dictator honorary citizenship between 1933 and 1945.
The official observer of Hermann observes (quite frequently) something that hints that last century’s denazification program either was not entirely successful, or got that famous flaccid hand wave and “Ja, Ja!” gesticulation:
How many gave him honorary citizenship after 1945 is unclear.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize winner to sign largest arms deal in U.S. history

Barack Obama, aka the latest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, aka the man to bring about a better (and more peaceful) world, is to sign the largest arms deal in the history of the United States, writes The Daily Mail.
A source close to the talks [with Saudi Arabia] told the Wall Street Journal: 'It's a big economic sale for the U.S. and the argument is that it is better to create jobs here than in Europe.'

The move could help ease intense criticism of Barack Obama over the ailing U.S. jobs market.

But it is also likely to attract opposition to selling arms, especially considering Mr Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Pro-Israel politicians have in the past voiced concerns about selling arms to Saudi Arabia, which they say could undercut Israel's military dominance.

Headline Bingo

Jerusalem Post: IDF foils attempted terror attack at Gaza border fence

INN: IDF Kills Two in Firefight with Gaza Terror Infiltrators

AP: Hamas: Israeli strike in Gaza kills 3 Palestinians

The right omissions seem to be what makes the right journalist.

- Thanky thanky, to Shy Guy

Here in France, the French Will Never Accept Us, "They Will Never Love Us"

From the country, and from the continent, that is always giving lessons to the United States — in the struggle for brotherly love, in the fight against racism, etc etc etc — Caroline Fourest testifies in Le Monde about the case of a fellow — an agnostic — named Mohamed…
a décision est prise. Je rentre définitivement au Maroc en 2011. » Des mots signés Mohamed. Une profession de foi symptomatique du malaise ambiant, parue sur le site d'information Rue89. Pierre Haski, son directeur, a rarement vu un article susciter un tel intérêt au coeur de l'été : « Près de 200 000 lecteurs, plus de 1 200 commentaires, en plein mois d'août ! »

Mohamed n'est pas un aigri ni un excité de la cause victimaire. Mais un ingénieur de 25 ans. Il gagne 2 700 euros par mois et a choisi de vivre en France. Parce qu'il manquait d'air au Maroc, de cinémas, de pluralisme et d'offre culturelle. Aujourd'hui, c'est en France qu'il étouffe.

Les blagues racistes dont il se moquait jadis sont devenues bien trop sérieuses depuis qu'elles tournent dans la bouche d'un ministre : « Le fait qu'un ministre de l'intérieur fasse une de ces blagues montre à quel point les clichés sont profondément implantés dans l'imaginaire français. Et le fait que l'on me rapporte à un cliché m'est devenu insupportable. »

A tort ou à raison, Mohamed se sent regardé de travers. Sa peur a la forme d'« une petite vieille » : « Son regard est plus vif. Son sac est plus serré entre ses bras. Ses jambes bougent plus vite quand je passe trop près. » Il a beau se répéter que cette petite vieille n'est pas la France, qu'il est entouré de Français ayant les yeux de l'amitié, il a décidé de repartir vers un pays où il n'aura pas à se demander s'il fait peur. Quitte à l'enjoliver. Le Maroc qu'il voyait jadis comme un désert est dépeint en palmeraie. Tout y serait plus vert. Même la liberté de conscience !

… D'autres Mohamed ou Ahmed qui songent, eux aussi, à partir. A Londres, où le droit à l'exotisme repose. Au Québec, où aucun passé colonial avec le Maghreb ne vient gâcher le rêve égalitaire. Nous ne parlons pas de jeunes faisant une crise identitaire ou réislamisés, mais de gens mûrs et cultivés, souvent agnostiques, en tout cas laïques, qui combattent l'islamisme... Et qui ne trouvent plus leur place.

…[La mère d'un ami, fils de harki] ne supporte plus de le voir au tribunal à cause d'arrestations au faciès. Elle a pris le voile et lui répète : « Ils ne nous aimeront jamais. »

Travel Ideas for the Lighthearted Gadabout

For fans of the gloriously miserable, why not head out to Siberia to see the world's largest head of Lenin?

It only takes 5 days by train out of Moscow, after all.

"Speak to us, oh giant head!!!"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Headline Contest

With no Republicans/Conservatives/Libertarians/Haters in positions of US leadership, this story is out there in the wild all on its lonesome:

The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
What the story needs is a good headline (shockingly, even the NYT has taken a pass on reporting the information). Any suggestions?

In France, "policemen are becoming fine-writing or arrest-making machines" and "they are cutting themselves off from the citizenry"

As France has relaxed the rules on times when police custody (garde à vue) can be resorted to, writes Benoît Hopquin in Le Monde, more and more citizens are put behind bars "temporarily", often for trivial reasons. The reputation of the police, says a veteran policeman with 37 years of experience (which amounts to a personal total of 40,000 instances of taking people into police custody) — who has written a book called Have Cops Become Incompetent? — is suffering from the resulting dehumanization.
In the eyes of public opinion, policemen are becoming fine-writing or arrest-making machines. Little by little, they are cutting themselves off from the citizenry.

Communist Family Values

Surely you jest.

This has got to be the most insidious commi plot yet, or even ever. The German Communist Party in Essen (yes, it actually still exists) handed out pens to six-year-old kids that can project erotic images of women on walls and, well, I dunno, all over. And like, they even did it by accident.
Un hunh. Right. Whatever you say. I guess training the young to objectify women as nothing more that fuck toys is all part of that “social cohesion” agenda.