Saturday, December 11, 2010

For What the World Needs Now, Obama Channels the Soviet Union

Email from Valerie:

Anyone catch Dear leader’s comment on

what the world needs is a “Sputnik” moment?

Not America. The World.

Not a “Man on the moon”moment. A “Sputnik” moment.

Being very young at the time Sputnik appeared, from what

I recall of what my parents telling me the world was pretty

scared and upset that the Russian Communists had

sent that little sphere up there.

Ah, so Dear Leader wants us all scared shitless of the government.

Me so dumb Comrades!

No gruel for me.

Further “Bravitude” in the Face of 4 Measly inches of Snow

There’s much Spaßmachen among those hardy Berliners too. They’re rough and ready for the new literary season.


Friday, December 10, 2010

The Liberal Media and Their Double Standards with Regards to Europe's Policies

The liberal media are generally fond of touting European countries for their liberal domestic policies, chastising America by comparison for being too conservative
writes Ken Shepherd (thanks to Ben).
But when the electorate of such a country votes to institute a strong conservative policy over the objections of its political elite, the media's fascination with the European everyman evaporates.

Take Sunday's vote by Swiss citizens to institute a referendum requiring foreigners convicted of serious crimes to be expelled from the country after serving out their sentences.

In her dispatch from Geneva, Time magazine's Helena Bachmann at least put a human face on the pro-deportation majority, opening her story with one Lise Thevenaz, a Geneva receptionist whose teenage son "was brutally beaten last summer by a band of immigrants from Eastern Europe":

When she found out Sunday night that 53% of voters also supported the proposal, "I thought that finally we would be able to feel safe in our own country," she says.

But Thevenaz was the only pro-deportation voice in Bachmann's piece, as the Time contributor devoted the rest of the article to critics slamming the new law as violative of treaty obligations and possibly of the human rights of foreigners, as well as a cynical ploy by a minority of Swiss politicians appealing to populist anti-immigrant sentiment.

Hovel, Sweet Hovel

The morons at Propagandastaffel still refuse to admit that markets don’t work when they smother them with onerous demands. Real estate in Paris is expensive, but not by the standards of cities of similar size in similar economies. It is, nonetheless, expensive, and is the result of the fact that it isn’t profitable to build in a city that dense that maintains height limitations, has political parties that seem willing to impose price xontrols at the drop of a hat, and there is a “constitutional right” to be housed at the cost of a property owner.

Housing is one of the great scandals of the French. As the country continues to grow, the working and middle classes are forced to devote an ever increasing share of their income to this basic needs, and prices become prohibitive as a result of property speculation.
Never mind the single greatest cost people are forced to exceed at the cost of their well being: taxes.
Large cities, primarily Paris, are the scene of a silent exclusion mechanism, a deadly hunt that imposes itself more on the less fortunate citizens who are doomed to spend hours in transport, adding to it the consequence of emitting polluting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The blissfully laissez-faire expect that rising prices will lead to a greater supply that will ease the market. But the argument that the inner-city construction market is inherently limited by regulation is a chimera designed primarily to protect the interests of owners and real estate professionals. Without strong intervention of public power, urban apartheid will continue to grow. Taxation of empty homes, causing some rents (for small areas, for example), affirmative action programs for construction, release of certain allowances, acceleration of Greater Paris, you can discuss all the details. But with a market failure or too unfair, the failure of the community is tantamount to abandonment. Or desertion.
Why not call it ultra apartheid? Why not bring the image of Nazism into the fact that demand is forced to recognize the existence of a supply one may not really add to?

A minor matter? A silly, throw away subject just to throw fuel on their revolutionary lynchmob fantasies? Hell no. France 24 has been giving it “the embarrassing American story” treatment for the past 24 hours: which is to say repeating it incessantly if it gives a warm, wet handjob to the minds of the editors.

Having worked on the building of buildings for 20 years, I can think of a dozen things that would salve their complaints far quicker than their typical demand for a heavy hand of government to simply “declare” what rents should be.

Solution: bureaucrottes non-élus

Given that there is enough demand to drive up rents and real estate prices, the next fix in their (literal) authoritarian Marxist-Leninist solution to the problem will be the assignment of housing to people based on a standard of need or personal social standing.

So Long, Suckaaaahs

Seeing the EU for all it’s glory and efficiency, the Nordic nations want to Federalize.

Without them. And they actually want to FEDERALIZE:

The United Nordic Federation would only have powers that are expressly ceded to it by its members. Foreign and defence policy would be federal matters; economic and labour-market policy would need to be co-ordinated; and research policy would probably also be best served at federal level.
Thism in a sharp contrast to the EU which, any time anyone asks, says one shall renders anything unto Ceasar that ain’t bolted down, even if the real outcome is that there isn’t much of an effective defense or International Affairs structure to centralize anyway.
The Federation would work in the same way, as an arena for comparisons and co-ordination, without the need for decisions to be unanimous before they can be implemented. Most taxation would remain at national level, as would most social services, perhaps including social security, unless it is generally agreed that a joint system would be more beneficial.
Which in it’s original intent would make it look a lot more like the United States than Switzerland, as the author suggests – but then again, there subjects that are still taboo to discuss in a favorable light.

However, in one strange twist alluding to the idiotically unrealistic self-regard the EU sees itself in, we find this bit of rayonnement.
Nordic co-operation can function as an example and a model for the wider European community.
How do you say “bureaucrottes zéropéens non-élus” in Finnish anyway?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Afghanistan Armadillo

Highly recommended:
An intimate portrait of young, adrenaline fueled Danish soldiers stationed at Camp Armadillo, a base located in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

“I Want My Tax Hike!”

How many bigoted, condescending caricatures can Tom Friedman jam into one paragraph?

More than ever, America today reminds me of a working couple where the husband has just lost his job, they have two kids in junior high school, a mortgage and they’re maxed out on their credit cards. On top of it all, they recently agreed to take in their troubled cousin, Kabul, who just can’t get his act together and keeps bouncing from relative to relative. Meanwhile, their Indian nanny, who traded room and board for baby-sitting, just got accepted to M.I.T. on a full scholarship and will be leaving them in a few months. What to do?
Just a little reminder to the reader, that all of the characters, strange ethno-stereotypes, theories, evidence, and conclusions arrived to... are entirely hypothetical.

Which makes any paragraph after it that expounds on it superfluous.
One strategy would be to hunker down, don’t spend a dime on anything other than food, the mortgage and paying off their credit card debts. They would get by, but there’s not much future in it. Another strategy would be to borrow against their life insurance policies to make up for the loss of income, keep living like they’re living, and hope that the husband’s job comes back before his unemployment checks run out.
Bear in mind this is supposed to be an example used as an analogue for the path of a nation.

Mr. Friedman, despite all evidence, is a professional writer, and an Opinion-editorialist for the New York Times. It is assumed that he lives in the United States, and might be familiar with American social life. The subject of his column of yesterday was supposed to be about the failed effort of the Obama administration to raise the taxes to continue fuelling the expansion of the Federal Government, which the left has grown from 20% to 25% of GDP during a recession.

Elsewhere: Marxist twat lionized.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Entire Paris Region Paralyzed by Global Warming

As Instapundit reports the Gore Effect striking the Cancún Climate Conference, what have been the news from Europe, recently?

In Britain, Wales saw its coldest ever November reading; in Germany, Der Bild reported the coldest start to December for centuries (!); and here in Northern France, today, snow has been falling all day long, paralyzing the entire Paris region, causing both of the capital's airports to shut down (temporarily), and closing the Eiffel Tower while making the landmark totally invisible from across the Seine (01:08). Thousands of passengers are blocked at airport terminals, bus traffic has been "basically paralyzed" since early afternoon, secondary routes in the Paris region are described as "catastrophic", traffic jams are expected to be as long as 300 km, and some 50 communes will be opening shelters for stranded drivers through the night.

To make the news more jolly, the authorities are afraid that the electrical networks will fail (which can only remind us of the Instapundit post on "the compassion of the Welfare State on display" in Europe)…

"I Took My Time Leaving the Taliban Movement, But Now It's Done"

"Lors de la grande offensive de 2006, quand nous avons attaqué en nombre les forces canadiennes qui nous bombardaient, la population, spontanément, tuait ses moutons pour nous nourrir." Mais, fin 2007, les gens ont dénoncé la décision du chef taliban de la zone, Sadiq Agha, de pendre onze personnes en deux semaines pour espionnage. "Il n'y avait aucune enquête, des gens disaient qu'untel était un espion, pour de simples raisons tribales."
In Afghanistan, a former Taliban fighter opens up to Le Monde's Jacques Follorou.
"Intérieurement, j'ai commencé à prendre mes distances à partir des pendaisons, cela contredisait mes croyances. J'ai mis du temps à partir, maintenant c'est fait", poursuit-il. Si les talibans reviennent au pouvoir, il verra alors ce qu'il fera. "Peut-être qu'ils réussiront, ils n'ont pas la technologie, mais ils ont la détermination."

Reality Check

Just curious.

Why is it when statist-loving, government-providing all, no responsibility for anyone (outside of banks), everything is free nannyists, need to show that they have a clue about reality .... the surest way to do so is to stop acting like a statist-loving, government-providing all, no responsibility for anyone (outside of banks), everything is free nannyist?

Despite the chaos caused by last weekend's air-traffic controller strikes in Spain, the government's severe response has shored up the position of Spain's embattled prime minister and could give him more support in passing reforms.

Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's decision to force air-traffic controllers back to work under military authority played both to conservatives, who want to see tough reforms in areas such as labor, pension costs and the banking sector, and to Mr. Zapatero's working-class base, which sees the air-traffic controllers—who earn an average of €200,000 ($265,000) a year—as a privileged group tarnishing the reputation of organized labor.
Why not try starting from reality in the first place? It would really save us all a lot of time.

And Warm Wishes of Socialist Solidarity to our Brothers in Kampuchea!

Which is to say that many of us miss some of the perspectiveless lunacy of the bad old days sometimes. But fear not, lovers of that quiet European creepiness: it’s always around in one form or another.

Which is to say largely in Brussels where its only virtue is that it could be easily kept in a cage if the native went along. They’re finally getting to the next Fake Crisis on their thick agenda of “caring” things ‘n stuff: the Bee Crisis:

The European Commission has published a new action plan intended to shed light on reports of declining honey-bee populations across Europe, key pollinators for many of the bloc's important crop species.
At the same time, one the Europe's top scientists in the field has warned against mass hysteria, pointing out that most species have experienced epidemics at one stage or another over previous centuries, ultimately with little long-term effect.
Van Rompuy warns EU is in 'survival crisis', and the crust of political class is worried about a fracking bee thing that was resolved two years ago. Natürlich. Nero isn’t fiddling while Rome burns, the entire population of snapperheads is.
In other news, not rising to the level of 2 year old fake Bee hype, Greek rioters and protesters clashed with police on Monday during a commemoration of the death of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos who was killed by police during a protest two years ago on Pearl Harbor Day. The protests were against austerity associated with running out of anyone left to tax, and the absence of having a currency to deflate.

From “The Awareness Chanel”. I say don’t hope for too much.

But what does that matter. It’s merely a loose fact and a minor detail associated with being unable to add or have any connection with nature and her unforgiving laws – such as we find here from yet another recitation of the obvious from the Wiki-trove of things that should really remain unsaid because we know them already:
Perhaps the greatest insight from the whole Bruno affair might be that despite the veneer of 'greenness' extolled by German society, modern Germany in fact coexists rather uneasily with untamed nature,"

I sat for a while and pondered over this commentary and remember the Bruno the bear episode in detail. There is an excellent point over this analysis. There is often bragging done (similar to cases in the US) where the government and foundations are working to reintroduce wild populations back into "outback regions". In this case, all it took was one simple bear to upset the locals.....and that got the bear onto the hit-list.
The debate associated with this random bear not being the sort we would have in Pennsylvania, as to whether or not it would be better taxidermed or made into jerky. My vote is to subject the European intellectual “elite” who found the item of “CULtural interest” to taxidermy to form an example for the children.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Testimony of 4 Severely Wounded Afghanistan Veterans

En 2010, en Afghanistan, les blessures diffèrent des autres conflits. Elles touchent les membres, à reconstruire entièrement. Les amputations sont nombreuses. La cause : les engins explosifs improvisés déposés sur les routes par les talibans. "On amène beaucoup plus de blessés vivants au bloc. Mais leurs blessures sont beaucoup plus graves", explique Emmanuel Rigal, chef du service de chirurgie orthopédique de l'hôpital Percy (Clamart, Hauts-de-Seine). A l'avant, les techniques médicales et la logistique ont progressé. On va plus vite. Un soldat qui avait sauté sur une mine en fin de matinée en Afghanistan a été opéré par les Américains sur place dans les premières heures.
Nathalie Guibert has a story in Le Monde about four soldiers (severely) wounded in Afghanistan. Interestingly, it turns out that France is like the United States in the sense that she makes the same point as Frank Gaffney, Jr, i.e., that most civilians know next to nothing about the military.
Pour quoi et pour qui [le sergent Jocelyn Truchet, 25 ans,] a-t-il laissé cette jambe ? La question l'embarrasse. "J'espère que je ne l'ai pas laissée pour rien, répond-il après un silence, que tout ça servira à ce que les Afghans prennent en main leur pays."

The Hero of the European Left Shows the Way

Venezuela's Chavez blames capitalism for deluges: Chavez blames rich countries for climate problems

He seems to have forgotten that the capitalist west is the one that started the environmental movement, created all the of technology to clean the environment, created the efficiencies that allow for clean industrialization, despite the uninformed howling of the closet authoritarians of the “green” movement, and that the Marxist-Leninist regimes of old that he lionizes were so poisonously polluted and so willing to choke their own populations with toxic waste, that it was the one form of opposition that they couldn’t rationalize silencing.

The amateurishly operated Chernobyl nuclear plant and the cover-up of its failure was, of course, some sort of capitalist plot too, I imagine.

Re-branding the narrative

So, we won't have "Bush-era tax cuts for the rich" to kick around anymore. Statists simply love having a new narrative to play with, how does this one sound, "Obama-era tax cuts for the rich"?

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Occurrence of an Ad on the Internet

Part of an ad campaign for Occurrence, "specialists in evaluating communication issues"…

Une pub dans une campagne pour l’équipe Occurrence, "Spécialiste de l’évaluation de la communication"…


426 Berlin merchants are finally catching on to a very American thing.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Cold War at France's Answer to CNN Takes On Air of a John le Carré Novel

"Ce n'est pas une guerre des chefs, mais une affaire criminelle !"
The feud at France 24 takes on the air of a spy story, with Christine Ockrent trying to fight back by denouncing des "insinuations intolérables"
"Elle n'a plus de protection et Alain de Pouzilhac a obtenu le permis de chasse de l'Elysée, qui suit le dossier de près", note un journaliste de France 24.

Gerhard Schröder is a Hypocrite


January 2002: "Germany Softens Anti-War Stance"

February 2002: "German Government Signals Support for Iraq War"


They were all so hysterical about the US, with or without it's post-9-11 foreign policies, and so besotten with pandering to the constructed Bush-hatred in their electorates, that they will lie to save face, if needed, over their positions, statements and actions. Domino no. 1 is Gerhard Schröder, founding member of the axis of weasels.

Intervening himself, indicating that there was a rather person sense of his convictions, the story goes on to report:
Prior to the new year the German government, a coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens, definitively abandoned its previous posture of categorical opposition to a war against Iraq. When asked by Spiegel magazine whether Germany would vote against such a war in the United Nations Security Council, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (Green Party) replied, “This cannot be decided in advance, because nobody knows how and under what circumstances the Security Council will deal with this issue.”

This statement provoked angry protests within the membership of the SPD and the Greens, but Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (SPD) immediately backed his foreign minister: “One only decides on one’s vote in committees when one knows the background to the decision,“ he told Spiegel.
In his Presidential memoirs, George Bush presented this matter as it was reported then with an open hand, (not a Poka face.)

Now the predictable German passive aggression point to a rather militant covering maneuver, with the very same publication, Spiegel openly calling George Bush a "liar" and supporting without interspection or curiosity the former Chancellor's specious assertion. In a strange attempt to impart more importance to Schröder and Germany with more relevance than it really had or has, they character as "an ongoing emnity", as if it was really there.
On Tuesday, the day that Bush's own presidential memoirs, "Decision Points," finally hit the shelves, Schröder went even further. "The former American president is not telling the truth," he said on Tuesday in Berlin.

Schröder was referring to a passage in Bush's memoirs in which the former president described a meeting that took place between the two leaders in the White House on Jan. 31, 2002. Bush writes that, when he told Schröder that he would pursue diplomacy against Iraq but would use military force should the need arise, the German leader responded, "'What is true of Afghanistan is true of Iraq. Nations that sponsor terror must face consequences. If you make it fast and make it decisive, I will be with you.'"

Bush continued: "I took that as a statement of support. But when the German election arrived later that year, Schröder had a different take. He denounced the possibility of force against Iraq."
I'd shed a tear for any nation that looks to the likes of Schröder to lead it, but it isn't worth it.