Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why do the French Speak English So Badly?

Why do Frenchmen speak English so badly? asks Maryline Baumard's contre-enquête in Le Monde, which notes the arrival of the "révolution Chatel", named after the education minister who wants French kids to be taught English in kindergarten (starting at an even younger age than Spaniards, who begin at the age of 6). As Mattea Battaglia interviews linguist Claude Hagège, the report notes that French families are now ready to pay for linguistic trips abroad. But not everryone is convinced by Luc Chatel's revolution:
"L'enseignement des langues est en train de devenir catastrophique. Luc Chatel l'a diminué au lycée, et il perpétue des épreuves de baccalauréat qui ne mesurent rien. Surtout pas un niveau en langue", déplore Michel Morel, de l'Association des professeurs de langues vivantes (APLV). En fait, l'offre n'est pas la même pour tous. "Il est faux de dire que rien ne va dans le système éducatif. Les classes européennes, où l'on fait par exemple des maths ou de la géographie en anglais, permettent d'apprendre une langue", se réjouit Natanaël Wright, le président du Wall Street Institute. Mais ces classes-là n'accueillent que 270 540 des 5,2 millions de lycéens et collégiens.
…En théorie, la quantité d'exposition est suffisante. En pratique cela ne fonctionne pas. "Trente élèves dans une classe, deux à trois heures par semaine, trente-six semaines par an... calculez donc le temps de parole de chacun !" s'agace Michel Morel. Cet enseignant ne croit pas à la "révolution" Chatel. "Ce sont des déclarations clownesques. Installer un enseignement en maternelle grâce aux nouvelles technologies est grotesque", s'étrangle-t-il. Un avis que n'est pas loin de partager la responsable de l'Association générale des écoles maternelles, Lucile Barberis. "C'est une méconnaissance des enfants de 3 ans, de la manière dont ils apprennent", confiait-elle, le 23 janvier, à l'Agence éducation et formation.

Gee, Sailor... You’re so Butch!

Of the popular insurrection taking place in North Africa, Italian Foreign minister, Franco Frattini called for a European “Superfriends” intervention, albeit one promising some aid (or ade,) ‘n stuff.

"...the EU should send a high-level "political support team" to calm tensions in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia and other countries in the region hit by deadly civil unrest in recent days.

"The European mission ... [should] take contact with the highest levels, beginning with the authorities in Tunisia, with civil society, mayors, opposition parties, to collect information, not to give orders," he said, Italian newswires report.

"I do not think this can be dealt with by sporadic initiatives of this or that country in Europe, but only by a European initiative."
This should give one a good idea of Europe’s intellectual boundaries and its’ self-regard: The Eurocentric European Citizen looks at Frattini’s statement and adds a caveat without irony:
To calm tensions, but to not give orders? The EU would have to be very clear about what it wanted to see in the region after the protests ran their course. Does it want to see a return to the status quo, or does it want to ensure a stable transition to more democracy or an accommodation of the protesters' demands? Sending in a clearly political mission without figuring out what kind of role it is to play could backfire pretty easily - what would be the reaction to the mission if the protesters failed or succeeded? Would the EU mission get some of the blame for the outcome, even if it didn't really do anything?
NOT Guaranteeing security, and promising an unknown future ruling entity some aid, does not necessarily entitle then to give orders. After the colonial legacy, the world was supposed to be different, but these are states that have had decades of grooming by, and engagement with their future lesson-givers.

It should also be noted that this crisis “in their neighborhood” caught the Europeans by surprise. Not much of a neighborhood watch in Mudville, I guess, because the CIA saw it a mile away, and were all over it like white on rice. All this gets you in “the neighborhood” is damning accusation that the entire revolution was a CIA plot... even if that IS true, who the hell are these clowns siding with?

Friday, January 28, 2011


At Sharm el Sheikh on 19 May 2008, President George W. Bush addressed Arab leaders at the World Economic Forum with a page from the overarching theme of his Presidency: his Freedom Agenda.

Arab states need to promote freedom at home and resist Iran's nuclear
ambitions, George Bush said yesterday, while insisting in the face of widespread
scepticism that he is committed to achieving peace between Israel and the

The US president used a speech in the Egyptian resort of
Sharm el-Sheikh to appeal to leaders in the region to take the future into their
hands and "

"The light of liberty is beginning to shine," he added,
praising advances for democracy in Turkey, Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco and
Jordan, but only hinting at stagnation and repression in Saudi Arabia and Egypt,
his two stops after joining Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations in Jerusalem
last week.

Be careful for what you wish for, but wish you still should, especially if you aren’t free.

Bush also attacked Syrian and Iranian support for the Shia movement Hizbullah
in Lebanon. "Every peaceful nation in the region has an interest in stopping
these nations from supporting terrorism," he said.

Democracy, and the removal of the footprint of the state from the neck of a people are to those enamored with Realpolitik a tool. To Bush it was a goal.

Sing! Young Pioneers!

Guido Fawkes notes a strange silence among UK’s rose-clutchers. Not only was Ben Ali’s nominally-democratic autocratic party a member of the Socialist Internationale, but so is Mubarak’s nominally-democratic autocratic party.

Let’s not forget the Ba’athists once supported by the Soviets. See the trend yet? Nominally at least?

Weighty Issues of the Day

Potential sovereign debt failures
Terrorism and war
Instability in the energy supply
The EU peddling mobile phone chargers that are already commonly available.

For French Daily, Democracy in an Arab Country Is Akin to a Contagious Disease Involving Unpalatable Risks for Its Surrounding Neighbors

Hardly surprising in view of France's outraged attitude regarding the war that toppled a (psychopathic) dictator and brought (at least a semblance of) democracy to Iraq, but still, Le Monde's main headline turns out to be shocking: The Risks of the Tunisian Contagion in North Africa (i.e., for Algeria and Morocco) — suggesting (deliberately or otherwise) that the onset of democracy is not only risky (i.e., something best avoided) but also a contagious disease (idem), to be feared by an Arab and/or by a Muslim country (and by its people?). To its credit, however, Le Monde did publish a few days later a letter to the editor condemning that very headline:

The Contagion of Freedom

What a shock it was to receive the january 19 issue of Le Monde headed by the following title: North Africa: The Risks of the Tunisian Contagion. So: Democracy is contagious and it entails risks!! Quickly, let's vaccinate all Arabs and all the oppressed peoples of Africa, America, and the world at the same time! More seriously: since the items on pages 5 and 6 and on the Debates pages are far more balanced than this awkward title, why not have chosen instead "The Hopes of the Tunisian Contagion"?

Millions of people worldwide have based huge expectations on the experience of a popular revolution supported by the Internet and by the determination of millions of oppressed citizens in Iran, in Egypt, in Algeria, in Libya … who are dreaming of a contagion of freedom …

All hope for a contagion of fear for dictators and of hope for the peoples ...

I regret that Le Monde seems to be adding its voice to the anguish of the colonialists and of the post-colonial profiteers who supported Ben Ali and who will continue to support the successors who are doing their best to avoid contagion.

Martin Guillemot
Leucate (Aude)

Read the original letter in French

A Portrait of the Effectiveness of Soft Power


EU to Cairo: respect 'legitimate yearnings' of citizens
CAIRO — Political protests may be rocking Egypt with a new, nonideological force, but President Hosni Mubarak and his allies have not veered from a playbook they have followed through nearly three decades of one-party rule.

As always, the government has responded to the unrest primarily as a security issue, largely ignoring, or dismissing, the core demands of those who have taken to the street.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Raci$tApartheidWallOfZOGFa$cism !!!!

Greece to Turks: beat it.

Minister says country can't take in anymore illegal immigrants; says barrier will be similar to wall built on US-Mexico border.
So do they still qualify to be morally superior adroit, thoughtful, caring Europeans now?

Send in the boat of delusional inept smugness! Tous de suite!

Not Quite as Satirical as you Would Imagine

This mook really does reflect fairly well what many of the natives think in old Europe think. It reflects fairly well the extent to which they’re generally as badly informed about the world as an illiterate living in a Yemeni village.

I suggest citing his “climate of hate” the next time a cheap explanation for a mass-shooting is being sought. It would be a lot more accurate than his melodramatic masturbatory fantasies about “those rich people”, all being alike, as they are.

Y'a pas de quoi être fier : The French are more opposed to free market capitalism than the inhabitants of Communist China

The French are more opposed to free market capitalism than the inhabitants of Communist China and other advanced economies
conclude the results of an IFOP opinion poll quoted by Daniel Flynn and Elizabeth Fullerton for Reuters (Shihsheh to Hervé).
…33 percent of French people believe it is time to abandon capitalism, the highest proportion among the 10 countries surveyed.

In China, which is ruled by the Communist Party but has embraced its own brand of capitalism, just 3 percent of those questioned thought that the market system was working badly. …

Some 65 percent of the Chinese surveyed said the current system was working well and should not be changed, the highest percentage in the poll, followed by Australia with 63 percent, Brazil with 57 and the United States with 55 percent.

…The poll came hot on the heels of another survey by BVA-Gallup earlier this month showing the French were more negative about their economic prospects than many countries including Afghanistan and Iraq.

That survey showed 61 percent of French people believe this year will be plagued by economic difficulties.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kanye West’s Big Bunga-Bunga Party

Corriere della Sera:

The body of Mike Bongiorno was stolen in the night from the cemetery at Dagnente, a small district of the municipality of Arona, in the province of Novara. The thief or thieves broke the plaque sealing the tomb to steal the mortal remains of the much-loved television presenter, who died on 8 September 2009.
As vulgar as that is, it puts into perspective the misuse of pain and misery in entertainment by and for the culturally inept, and the horror with which the vile choices they make, and how a predictably flippant and childish blab-arati treats matters of any actual import.
The nearly six-minute clip features an onslaught of depraved scenes: hanged models dangling from the ceiling on chains; West rapping while casually holding a woman's severed head that is still dripping blood; a bloody amputated hand; and Jay-Z spitting rhymes while a semi-nude woman in heels is splayed across a couch with the first signs of rigor mortis setting in.
So is necrophilia the new “final frontier” in what will be told is arty/edgy/”everybody does it” cool?

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.
It is also an extension of the horror aesthetic that has infiltrated popular culture in the last decade - the TV series Dexter, the various incarnations of CSI and torture porn movies like Saw and Hostel.
Just to clear things up, West, a fat oaf, virulent Bush-hater and “peace proponent”.

Sure. Whatever you say. You’re fans are largely too stupid to take you up on the contradictions, so, like, WHATever on the politics and icky war stuff.

The story never left Kansas: propaganda is composed of equal parts deception and suppression, and the MSM's apparatchiks are much better at the latter

Successful propaganda is composed of equal parts deception and suppression, and the apparatchiks in the mainstream media are much better at the latter
says Jack Cashill (merci à Hervé).
They may have erred in pushing the Arizona assassination attempt beyond its ideological limits last week, but they succeeded brilliantly a few months earlier in suppressing news of a nearly lethal attempt by a genuine leftist.

In September 2010 Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was scheduled to speak at Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City.

At some point, wearing black clothes and a bullet-proof vest, 22 year-old Casey Brezik bolted out of a classroom, knife in hand, and slashed the throat of a dean. As he would later admit, he confused the dean with Nixon.

The story never left Kansas City. It is not hard to understand why. Knives lack the political sex appeal of guns, and even Keith Olbermann would have had a hard time turning Brezik into a Tea Partier.

Indeed, Brezik seems to have inhaled just about every noxious vapor in the left-wing miasma: environmental extremism, radical Islam, anti-capitalism, anti-Zionism and Christophobia, among others.

In his “About Me” box on Facebook, Brezik listed as his favorite quotation one from progressive poster boy, Che Guevara. The quote begins “Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism” and gets more belligerent from there.

… For the last century or more, it is the progressive fever swamps that have nurtured most of the world’s hate and virtually all of its violence, including, paradoxically, radical Islam.

As Casey Berzik cried out with multicultural flair, “El Futuro es La REVOLUCION!” But if an assassin strikes in a media vacuum, and no one hears him, can there ever be a revolution?

Old World, New World

They’re as predictable as the guy in the back of the hall who yells out “play Freebird!”

Rank and file Europeans are some of the most self-obsessed, information-crippled boobs I have ever encountered. Our own bumbling nitwit society looks pretty sharp by comparison.

- from a comment left on Michael Phillips’ excellent Pro Commerce weblog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Régime de Bananes

The “Failed state” narrative finally finds the obvious. In Europe.

Failed States are usually those African countries blamed by westerners for not having started their democratic and economic ascend, ravaged by poverty, corruption and a clear lack of good governance. But what if this vocabulary of “Failed State” could apply to European countries having failed over the last decade to foster growth and radically change their society in the light of the upcoming challenges? This is particularly the case of Belgium, and this is dangerous for the Europe.
What do you mean “what if?” It already has. Plus, what’s all this sudden talk of “intervening to save” Belgium? Didn’t they have this thing against meddling and nation-building being, like, y’know, like wrong ‘n stuff?

The "driver's" licenses all of us carry today are nothing more than the equivalent of the yellow tags you see stapled into the left ears of cows

Why do even have driver's licenses in the first place, asks Eric Peters, as they're "certainly not a measure of even minimal competence as a driver."
So, we do we bother with them at all? Because in the U.S., a driver's license is really an ID card. A sort of internal passport we're all compelled to carry -- and produce, upon demand. It has very little to do with driving -- and much to do with herding us like the cattle we've become. I go too far? Well, see how far you can go without a driver's license -- even if you never get behind the wheel of a car. Banks want to see your driver's license before they'll open an account -- which you need to cash your check from your employer -- who won't hire you unless you produce the government-issued internal passport -- which you also can't board an airplane without and do many other things besides.

All of which have exactly zilch to do with operating a motor vehicle.

Of course, it was the Germans who invented the "driver's" license. (Stifle the PC outrage; your angry correspondent is as ethnically Volkdeutsch as sauerkraut.) … The Germans have a DNA-encoded fetish for controlling things -- including other humans.

We now have to carry around these infernal internal passports that have nothing to do with driving ability, in order for the authorities -- government and corporate -- to be able to identify, record and process us.

Like the Fourth Amendment and other former freedoms we've surrendered over the years, the freedom to travel thus no longer exists in this country. … the "driver's" licenses almost all of us carry today are nothing more than the equivalent of the yellow tags you see stapled into the left ears of cows. And serve the same purpose.

I think it's time for the cattle to question the whole business…

Anatomy of a Political Agitpropper

Considering his early work, Oliver Stone’s later work should come as no surprise.

Warning: too gross for work...

Monday, January 24, 2011

From the Perspective of 50+ Years: the left and ruling-class media are now in kamikaze mode

Following their shellacking in the first regularly scheduled federal election of the Tea Party era, the political left and the ruling-class media made predictable calls for civility in political discourse
notes Richard Viguerie, offering perspective from 50+ years' worth of leadership in the conservative movement.
I say predictable because, as a general rule, the left and their media partners make calls for bipartisanship and civility only when conservatives ascend to political power, and they direct it only at conservatives, not at the extremists on their side.

The recent tragedy in Tucson, however, displayed in condensed hours and days the visceral, disgraceful desperation of the left and ruling-class media.

Americans, through the Tea Party movement, are in a peaceful political war against the ruling class. To the everyday Americans-turned-political-activists, this is a war for the future of the America we cherish. The ruling class understands this is a war against the self-dealing privilege and kleptocracy they've created over many decades.

The verbal and printed attacks on Tea Party conservatives following the Tucson tragedy, however, show that the left and ruling-class media are in kamikaze mode. They are sacrificing all semblance of decency and credibility -- or what little they have left -- to defeat the rise of small-government constitutional conservatives.

The ruling class has usurped power for decades in the face of relatively meager, often somnolent opposition from everyday Americans. But the ruling class now understands that the Tea Party movement is a force unlike others they've met. The Tea Party movement insists that government abide by the limitations mandated by the Constitution. This results in a threat to such phenomena as crony privileges, big bank bailouts, and forcing Chrysler and GM to give ownership interests to unions.

The mainstream media is of the left and the ruling class. Even while it knocks big business, it is big business, and therefore, it sides with the ruling class and against the Tea Party. The mainstream media is threatened by the Tea Party movement every bit as much as other members of the ruling class are.

In this war between the ruling class and the middle-class Tea Partiers, the mainstream media has abandoned the role of being on the sidelines as a referee and has joined the battle on the side of the ruling class. No longer is it a watchdog against abuses by the powerful or against institutional corruption. The media is now the attack dog against the Tea Party movement, the Constitution, and the populist revolt of middle-class Americans.

If media attacks on conservatives since the Tucson shooting were intended to harm the Tea Party surge, they are having, and will continue to have, very much the opposite effect, as even some on the left now seem to recognize.

Let me step back with some perspective.

People have asked me over the course of my fifty-plus years in the conservative movement whether it's too late to save America.

But for short bursts of conservative political energy and successes, such as the election of Ronald Reagan and the Gingrich Revolution in the 1994 election, both the Democratic and Republican Parties have moved to the left, and our government of constitutional limitations has suffered.

Our Founders created a constitutionally limited government -- designed to "establish Justice" and "insure domestic Tranquility" -- by protecting individual liberties and private property rights for "Posterity." For decades those constitutional protections have been gradually but assuredly eroding. The conservative movement has been, in large part, a reaction to that, although the movement diminished its effectiveness by becoming an appendage of the Republican Party.

Conservatives, and now Tea Partiers, also understand that it's not only the Republican and Democratic Parties that are to blame. Save for the military, leaders of every major institution in America -- Wall Street, banks, Fortune 500 companies, the mainstream media, higher and lower education, labor unions, Hollywood, charities, organized religion -- have aligned themselves with big government and against the people. The ruling-class leaders of these institutions have participated side-by-side with the three branches of the federal government in eroding the Constitution.

Too often, state governments have been active partners in the erosion of rights to the detriment of the people and even the states themselves. We are, however, seeing more constitutional conservatives elected at the state level. Before this election, for example, there was Rick Perry of Texas and Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia. Now, after the first widespread Tea Party election, we have Nikki Haley in South Carolina, Paul LePage in Maine, Scott Walker in Wisconsin, and dozens if not hundreds more in statewide and legislative offices.

So in response to those questions before the rise of the Tea party about whether it's too late to save America, my answer was always that we had one chance and only one chance, and that's if things got real bad, real quick.

Had John McCain been elected president instead of Barack Obama, Americans would not have risen up with the force of the Tea Party movement to save America from the gradual but certain depreciation of our rights and eradication of our republican, constitutionally restrained form of government.

With the election of Barack Obama, however -- combined with a Congress led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and filled with Democrats, ranging from Blue Dogs who caved in to left-wing zealots all the way across the left's spectrum to true Marxists -- Americans saw the future fast-forwarded.

It is that future on steroids that the overwhelming majority of Americans reject. The reaction from grassroots conservative Americans was accelerated in response.

Americans who were previously satisfied, as rightfully they should be, to tend to their private matters of work, family, worship, recreation, and the like became aware that they needed to stop the surge toward national bankruptcy, crony capitalism, and kleptocracy, and the extinction of constitutionally limited government.

Center-right Americans generally aren't political activists. Now, however, Tea Partiers who have been driven to political activism have experienced firsthand what we long-time conservative activists have encountered for over fifty years -- the dishonest, mean, libelous vitriol of the left and the ruling-class media.

One mistake of the left and the ruling-class media before the Tucson tragedy was to make it personal against everyday Americans, who were merely seeking to protect their simpler, more private American way of life.

In the hot lights of the Tucson tragedy, however, the left and the ruling-class media exposed themselves in spectacular fashion to be everything long-time conservatives and new Tea Partiers claimed them to be: biased, dishonest, mean zealots.

The attacks on the Tea Party were like mass public burnings of Norman Rockwell paintings. It was an assault by crazed radicals on small-town America. Based on decades in the conservative movement, I can assure you that the left and the ruling-class media aren't sorry about their disgraceful, hypocritical conduct against Americans who are justifiably fed up and taking peaceful steps consistent with their rights.

As someone casually acquainted with Rep. Gabby Giffords -- in fact, as someone who was on a panel with her the weekend before the assassination attempt -- I issued a press release on the day of the shootings. It was, in my opinion, an expression of how most conservatives would respond to the Tucson madness -- with sadness and prayer.

Sarah Palin was among many falsely and desperately blamed for the Tucson shootings. Palin's response to the Tucson tragedy was, like most conservatives felt, filled with sadness and prayer, but it was issued days after the left's blood-libelous reaction.

In her response, Palin included a plea not all that dissimilar to what President Obama sounded at the memorial service for the victims, except she was more direct in addressing the false charges against conservatives. The left and the ruling-class media praised Obama but criticized Palin.

Palin then received "increased" death threats and wishes, meaning she had been receiving them before. At first, the media did not report the open and notorious death wishes against Governor Palin. Only when they became impossible to ignore because they were exposed by the conservative new and alternative media did the ruling class media acknowledge the rise in death threats against Palin. CBS News reported an "uptick," as if it were reporting on the stock market.

This highlights not only the double standard conservatives face, but also the false standard. Of course, the media has yet to accept blame for fueling those death threats with its accusations, innuendo, and false reporting.

And, of course, the left was quick to lay blame at the feet of conservative talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and others. Levin was equally quick -- but accurate -- to remind the left that the laws of libel predate the First Amendment, and he is willing to sue.

The kamikaze desperation of the ruling class media and the left following the Tucson tragedy wasn't just the blood-libelous attacks on constitutionalist Tea Party conservatives. It included calls to violate a host of rights, ranging from trying to silence conservative talk radio to creating no-gun zones near our self-centered political leaders.

In other words, the immediate response was to propose unconstitutional measures aimed at a movement whose mission includes protecting the Constitution. The threats against 2nd Amendment rights resulted in a spike in gun sales. Was the left, therefore, acting out of provocation, stupidity, opportunism, or all three?

The foremost authority on the ruling-class media's war on conservatives, Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, called the media's coverage of the Tucson tragedy a "campaign to criminalize conservatism." That sentiment has been simmering for a while now, but it was accelerated in the condensed aftermath of the Tucson tragedy.

The ruling-class media and the left learned nothing from the response of Americans to the bullying statism of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid triage. Instead of moderating their attacks, lies, and libel, which helped fuel the Tea Party movement in the first place, they increased and amplified them.

What will be the response from constitutional conservatives and Tea party activists? Not what Conrad Black writes at National Review: "A very mild-mannered and civilized friend remarked to me today that if he encountered anyone else on the Fifth and Park Avenue social circuit who blamed the Tucson shootings on the Tea Party, he would resort to violence."

No -- although quite arguably the left seems to be trying to provoke that type of response, Americans who are center-right, peaceful, charitable, faith-oriented, and patriotic won't respond that way.

We will redouble our efforts. We will continue to speak out, passionately and with even more resolve. We will organize and train in the arts of politics. We will, to the last of our civil energy, seek to overcome the forces arrayed against us, our Constitution, and our country's future.

Ruling-class leaders have been willing accomplices to the usurpation of rights of Americans. We will do as James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 44 about restoring our usurped rights:
If it be asked what is to be the consequence, in case the Congress shall misconstrue this part of the Constitution, and exercise powers not warranted by its true meaning . . . The success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort, a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of usurpers.
We are doing and will do more, however, than just elect faithful representatives to annul acts of usurpers. We are organizing against the ruling-class leaders of institutions who have betrayed everyday Americans.

And, God willing, we will restore America to the Founders' vision of government ruled and limited by the Constitution before it's too late.

As the response to the Tucson tragedy shows, the left and the ruling class media are escalating this battle to the point that they completely destroy their own credibility in the process -- even to their own detriment. They are, like kamikaze pilots, dangerous in their desperation.

As to those calls for civility and for the political discourse to "calm down"? We Tea Party conservatives were behaving quite well already, thank you very much. The problem is and has been on the left. It is apparent to everyone but the political left and ruling-class media that their calls are cover-ups for the extremism of their own side.
Richard Viguerie is author of Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause. His website is

Pot, Kettle, Red

U.S. Democrats seem to have taught the European Left the reflexive accusation game:

Socialists and conservatives in the European Parliament have accused each other of cosying up to Tunisian ex-dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, with senior figures in the French political establishment also tainted by association.

Left-wingers and human rights organisations have been strident in their criticism of conservatives such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy for his government's close ties and support of the ousted Tunisian leader.

But on Tuesday (18 January), after it was revealed that Mr Ali's political party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD), was a member of the Socialist International, the global alliance of centre-left parties, the RCD was expelled.
This being Europe, the best you can get is the mindless pap of an “all sides are guilty” (but innocent in their child-like ignorance) angle out of the headlines. The other flight-of-fear specious assertion is to call the Socialist Internationale “center-ANYTHING”, since the membership are engaging in the usual evasion: trying to re-brand their leftist-dictator erstwhile butt-buddy a “pro-US dictator” using classic Soviet-era obfuscation tactics.

Elsewhere: venal Turkish crypto-Islamist thinks his country is the little blue pill, to Europe’s Limp Larry.

Responsible Journalism at a Glance

Weekly World News

"This blob can be one hundred times more devastating to Earth, than any asteroid," said James V. Bellanca III, the chief blob expert at NASA.
What Will Happen on December 21 2012?
The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth.
The Day After Tomorrow….Today??
Independent (UK)
The Mayans were right, the planets have aligned, an asteroid is heading for earth, the molten core at the centre of our planet has stopped turning (again) ...
Yet another dytopic environmentalist "looking out for the children, and the future", no doubt. They all seem to sound like that...
our time on planet earth is up.

I mean, first of all the natural disasters that have been happening with alarming frequency lately, the floods, forest fires, earthquakes, Tsunami’s, birds mysteriously falling from the sky….well it is enough to get any normal movie goer freaking out, but then, add to it the financial crisis (the banks know what’s coming obviously), the fact that no other reporter seems to have put this together (clearly a government cover up) and of course, the fact that our TV Schedules constantly pump out reality drivel like X Idol, Celebrity Strictly Come Dining, and my favourite Cat in the Attic,( why do people watch these things……….I just don’t get it, go out and play rugby instead damn you!) and it becomes clear that the powers that be are trying to lull us into some sort of apathetic coma so that we don’t go out and panic.
And that’s just the sports page, kids. Why not do the right thing, and off yourself know - before we get to, say, paragragh 8?

Hitler Finds Out That Olbermann Has Been Fired

(Danke schön zu Andrea Shea King)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Wikileaks “Transparency” Effect

You may no longer speak your mind, unless Wikileaks either wills it, or they blackmail you.

OHB-Technology CEO Berry Smutny was sacked for having an opinion that could easily be constituted as responsible advice to a client.

OHB is one company taking part in Europe's satellite project Galileo, which is seen as a challenge to the American Global Positioning System but has been plagued by problems and cost over-runs.

In the leaked cable, Smutny also called the Galileo project, which is due to come into operation in 2014, a waste of EU-taxpayers' money.
The ignorant and superficial, of course all hail Wikileaks.

Why a critic of Galileo was punished is rather obvious. It wasn’t for wrongdoing or misrepresentation, it was for catching on to the fact that the execution of the Galileo GPS array is a mess at best, and a racket at worst. European Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani rejected the additional €1.5-1.7 billion for startup and an estimated €750 million annual operating budget as exorbitant.
"I don't know where these figures come from," Tajani told a news conference, adding that any budget overruns would be calculated after all contracts for the projected are awarded.
So Wikileaks does a nice job of getting someone fired and/or silenced for “speaking truth to power”. It is, as more than one critic said, become a censor to the world.

As was the case behind the Iron Curtain, reality may now be discussed in hushed tones, and never, never, written down unless the defiant are suicidal in their bravery.

Insult Compounds Injury as France's We-Are-All-United-in-Peace Film Fails to Make Oscar List But Foreign Anti-French Movie Is Accepted

Even in ordinary circumstances, the failure of France’s “Of Gods and Men” to make the Oscar shortlist for best-foreign language film announced Wednesday would have been controversial, especially in France
reports James Richter.
The film received rapturous reviews there, was a box office success and has won numerous awards, including that of best foreign-language film of 2010 as voted by the National Board of Review in the United States. “Grand prize winner at the last Cannes festival, Xavier Beauvois’s and ‘Of Gods and Men’ doesn’t even qualify for the preliminary list,” was the incredulous reaction of the magazine Paris Match on its Web site.

But that snub was accompanied by another Academy decision that, from a certain French point of view, seems to be even more outrageous and certain to continue a long-running polemic: the inclusion of “Outside the Law,” the submission of Algeria, a former colony of France that became independent only after a long and bloody struggle. The film deals directly with that subject, portraying French colonists and soldiers as greedy, murderous thugs, and it has been attacked by members of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party as “anti-French” and suggests that the Algerian cause was as noble as the French resistance to Nazi rule during World War II.
…To make matters even worse, “Outside the Law” is in many respects a French, rather than Algerian, film. The director, Rachid Bouchareb, who co-wrote the screenplay, is a French citizen of Algerian descent, born outside Paris and trained at French state television. And as the conservative daily Le Figaro noted, the bulk of the budget of “Outside the Law” was supplied by French taxpayers through government entities, including “bizarrely, the National Agency for Social Cohesion and Equality of Opportunity.” No wonder then, that Yahoo’s French-language Web site Wednesday described “Outside the Law” as “a French film competing under a banner that is…Algerian!”

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