Saturday, March 05, 2011

If French Elections Were Held Today, the Far Right's Marine Le Pen Would Win the First Round

Or, as Instapundit would put it, I don't want to hear another goddamn word about far-right or fascist Americans who need to be taught lessons on tolerance and understanding by wise and benevolent Europeans…

We've all heard how far-rightist, how fascist, how racist, how clueless, how fearful, and how intolerant citizens of the American heartland are. And how much they should shut up and let Europeans (such as the French) — along with their like-minded leftist Americans in academe, among the élite, and on the East Coast — teach them lessons on tolerance, civility, and the appreciation of diversity.

In that perspective, it turns out to be a rather — ahem — interesting development that if the first round of next year's French presidential election were held today, according to a Le Parisien poll, the front-runner would be the Front National's Marine Le Pen, polling ahead (23%) of President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as of the Socialists' current front-runner, Martine Aubry (21% each).

That would be even more impressive than 2002, when the National Front's candidate then (Marine's father) also make it to the first round, slaughtering the socialists' Lionel Jospin (than the country's prime minister) in the process, although Jean-Marie Le Pen was not the front-runner, as he came in second to Jacques Chirac (the country's president who would go on to win the second round)…

Want a class free society? Go American

The far left, particularly those with the moral compass that spins enough for them to express an admiration for Socialism, love to discuss classlessness as a goal. Well, Americans really eliminated class distinction to a degree that no society has managed to, not least of which compared to the aristocratic nature of Socialist, Marxist-Leninist, and the rest of the quasi-intellectual variants thereof. We have few living examples left, but they are pure and consistent:

In North Korea, one's songbun, or socio-economic and class background, is extremely important and is primarily determined at birth. People with the best songbun are descendants of the anti-Japanese guerrillas who fought with Kim Il-song, followed by people whose parents or grandparents were factory workers, laborers, or poor, small farmers in 1950. "Ranked below them in descending order are forty-seven distinct groups in what must be the most class-differentiated society in the world today." Anyone with a father, uncle, or grandfather who owned land or was a doctor, Christian minister, merchant, or lawyer has low songbun.
Then there’s the ubiquitous, ass-kissing nature of low-level cronyism:
After songbun, the next most important influence on North Korean life is Kim-Il-song sangsa, or the thought of Kim Il-song. Within certain narrow limits, one's devotion to the thought of Kim Il-song can improve one's songbun, and disloyalty can lower one's songbun.
Not to mention the classlessness of hereditary succession. And don’t bet that the fate of the higher classes isn’t tied to el hefe, and that they will get their when he finally gets his.

Improvised Egyptian Riot Wear v.7.0

The nuclear baguette and Strudel option. It’s used quite effectively to make that anger seem real and serious.

Debating Democracy in the Arab World

The former culture minister of Lebanon and a special adviser to Kofi Annan — he is currently a member of Paris's Institut d'études politiques — Ghassan Salamé is interviewed by Le Monde's Gilles Paris (Chaumaz's cartoon 3) on democracy in the Arab world. What Le Monde's readership seems to love him most for, though, are his anti-Israel pronouncements…
La Turquie peut-elle devenir un modèle pour les Arabes ?

Les Arabes ne parlent plus le turc depuis des décennies, ils n'ont pas compris pourquoi les Turcs, pourquoi l'AKP veut entrer dans l'Europe. Il y a mille raisons pour admirer le modèle turc. Mais pendant longtemps, la Turquie n'en pas été un pour les Arabes. Qu'est-ce qui a été le déclencheur de l'intérêt pour la Turquie ? Je prétends que c'est Davos. Un jour (pendant l'offensive israélienne contre Gaza, en janvier 2009), le premier ministre turc, fâché par ce que disait (le président d'Israël) Shimon Pérès, s'est levé et a quitté la salle pendant que le secrétaire général de la Ligue arabe (Amr Moussa) restait assis. Ce qui veut dire qu'ont tort tous ceux qui pensent que l'affaire de la Palestine est dernière nous. L'autoroute pour le coeur des Arabes, c'est une position empathique, solidaire avec les Palestiniens, comme l'avaient compris les Russes, et ensuite l'Iran.

C'est alors que les Arabes se sont intéressés au reste pour la Turquie : le processus démocratique, la croissance, le rôle de plus en plus encadré de l'armée. C'est alors seulement que les réalisations turques sont devenues légitimes. Et c'est ainsi que la Turquie est devenue un modèle dominant. L'Iran n'est plus le seul modèle. Et le modèle turc, c'est la démocratie chrétienne.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Me Kill Jews Some Day. Grunt.

Thanks to John Rosenthal, we discover what "Freedom of Expression" looks like in the Arab world after decades of operant conditioning and dumbing down.

An Idiot in the World

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer plays up his “inside look” at North Korea that he’s trying to sell as unique and groundbreaking. In reality, a trained Chimpanzee using Youtube could get the same look at the minder-led sightseeing of the NorK Potemkin villages and monuments to Kim Il Sung.

Donald Kirk:

This flight of fantasy became even more ludicrous as Blitzer sought to give an impression of a "rare" look at the same stuff everyone gets to see on tourist trips to Pyongyang - the Great Study Hall of the People, once described to me by a North Korean minder as "the world's biggest library", classrooms of privileged kids studying English, a look at a fruit farm, a small "factory" of some sort, the usual empty streets and avenues.

The whole program, aired for nearly an hour by CNN last weekend, reached an apotheosis of silliness on the final day on December 20 when Blitzer wanted to believe he was hearing the distant explosions of South Korean military exercises in the Yellow Sea around the island that North Koreans shelled in November. Blitzer assured viewers that the island was not all that far away - apparently not willing to reveal that it was 150 miles (231 kilometers) due south, more than a little out of earshot of the loudest blasts.
Ground-breaking stuff there, Wolfie, but the fact remains that you’re a willing idiot and a flunky. A ugly, inhumane regime wanted a megaphone, and for the sake of a story, you gave it to them.
The North Koreans' greatest coup, however, was the skill and ease with which they got CNN to publicize their eagerness to negotiate while the South Koreans appeared as provocateurs for insisting on staging more exercises.

Namkung, a veteran of 40 visits to North Korea, appeared off and on throughout the program, offering supportive views bereft of any trace of doubt about the North's motives, much less any mention of the North's failure to live up to previous nuclear agreements.
Bush was right. It’s pointless to negotiate with them until their actions show a change in direction toward improvement – not the other way around.

Death of the French Author Who Was More Popular in America than at Home and Who Influenced West Pointers Like Petraeus and McChrystal

In France, his books are impossible to find, writes Pierre Assouline in Le Monde. But in America, the war stories (Les Centurions, Les Mercenaires, Les Prétoriens, Le Mal jaune, Les Tambours de bronze) of Jean Lartéguy (who died at 90 on February 23) remain popular, and nowhere more so than at West Point where a chapter of his Centurions is said to have influenced David Petraeus in person and heavily influenced the general's manual on counter-insurgency (COIN).
… par un étrange paradoxe, cet auteur jouit d'une plus forte notoriété en langue anglaise que dans sa propre langue. … Il est vrai qu'il exalta des valeurs — honneur, patrie, sacrifice, fraternité — qui semblent avoir été emportées par le vent de l'Histoire avec les guerres coloniales dont il avait peint la geste.

… Lartéguy peut compter sur de fidèles lecteurs outre-Atlantique. Beaucoup sont galonnés. L'un d'eux, qui l'est particulièrement, s'est fait l'attaché de presse bénévole du livre : le général David Petraeus, commandant de la coalition militaire en Irak avant de prendre le commandement des troupes de l'OTAN en Afghanistan à la suite du général Stanley McChrystal, lui-même inconditionnel des Centurions, viré par le président Obama pour avoir trop parlé au reporter de Rolling Stone. Petraeus en a réactivé le culte dans l'armée américaine en encourageant fortement l'éditeur à le publier de nouveau.

Torture et guérilla

C'est peu dire que son propre manuel de contre-insurrection est inspiré d'un chapitre des Centurions ; celui-là même où Bigeard, alias Raspeguy, tirant les leçons de sa détention dans les geôles du Vietminh, décide d'adapter ses paras en Algérie à une guerre non conventionnelle où il faut d'abord couper son adversaire de la population dès lors qu'elle lui fournit ravitaillement et informations. C'est un traité vivant et vécu de guerre contre-insurrectionnelle, dans lequel la dimension politique et psychologique, basée sur la primauté du renseignement, l'emporte sur l'aspect purement militaire des opérations.

Sophia Raday, épouse d'un officier qui a servi sous les ordres du général Petraeus en Irak, a raconté sur le site Slate qu'à Bagdad ce dernier ne cessait de relire le livre de Jean Lartéguy et de s'en faire le propagandiste, tant les situations sur le terrain lui paraissaient semblables. Jusqu'à la "manière" de faire parler à temps des combattants ayant disséminé en ville des bombes réglées pour exploser dans les vingt-quatre heures - ce qu'il appellera le "ticking time bomb scenario", justifiant le recours dans l'urgence à la torture afin de sauver les vies de civils (et en ce sens, on peut dire que la série "24 heures chrono" paie aussi sa dette aux Centurions).

Il n'y a pas que Jean Lartéguy : le colonel Trinquier aussi. Son livre La Guerre moderne (La Table ronde, 1961), qui théorise la guerre subversive, est un classique des écoles de guerre américaines, les mêmes où, pour enseigner la guérilla urbaine, l'on projette aux futurs officiers La Bataille d'Alger (1966). Coproduit pour l'Algérie par Yacef Saadi, ancien responsable de l'Armée de libération nationale, le film était signé du réalisateur italien Gillo Pontecorvo, qui se réclamait du marxisme.

A Grand Utopian Failure: Quotations from Gadaffi’s “Green Book” [iv]

The hits just keep on coming from Daffy Gadaffi, rationalizing theft:

Land is the private property of none. Rather, everyone has the right to beneficially utilize it by working, farming or pasturing as long as he and his heirs live on it - to satisfy their needs, but without employing others with or without a wage. If lands were privately owned, only the living would have a share in it.

Land is permanent, while those who benefit from the land undergo, in the course of time, changes in profession, capabilities and existence.

The aspiration of the new socialist society is to create a society which is happy because it is free. This can only be achieved by satisfying, man's material and spiritual needs, and that, in turn, comes about through the liberation of these needs from the control of others. Satisfaction of these needs must be attained without exploiting or enslaving others; otherwise, the aspirations of the new socialist society are contradicted.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Improvised Egyptian Riot Wear v.6.0

Bro is in hubcap heaven, if you ask me. Either that, or it's part of a former water heater.

A Grand Utopian Failure: Quotations from Gadaffi’s “Green Book” [iii]

Like Hitler before him, Gaddafi was a sort of eugenicist. He also sounds an awful lot like Margerete Sanger and the suffering sisters who worship her today:

The latest age of slavery has been the enslavement of Blacks by White people. The memory of this age will persist in the thinking of Black people until they have vindicated themselves.

This tragic and historic event, the resulting bitter feeling, and the yearning or the vindication of a whole race, constitute a psychological motivation of Black people to vengeance and triumph that cannot be disregarded. In addition, the inevitable cycle of social history, which includes the Yellow people's domination of the world when it marched from Asia, and the White people's carrying out a wide-ranging colonialist movement covering all the continents of the world, is now giving way to the re-emergence of Black people.

Black people are now in a very backward social situation, but such backwardness works to bring about their numerical superiority because their low standard of living has shielded them from methods of birth control and family planning. Also, their old social traditions place no limit on marriages, leading to their accelerated growth. The population of other races has decreased because of birth control, restrictions on marriage, and constant occupation in work, unlike the Blacks, who tend to be less obsessive about work in a climate which is continuously hot.
Mistake number one by him and everyone like him, is the de-personalization of individuals by any metric such as the color of their skin. It isn’t just simplistic and comically unserious: it contributes to the dumbing down of civilization.

Just another Product of German Aculturation

Fraport shooter Arid Uka was initially referred to as a Macedonian, then later a Kosovar. Motives were indicated as unclear. CNN asked itself after saying to itself "I think they used unmarked busses" and asking themselves "the troops MIGHT have been in uniform.... why would they do that?"

Okay. Make up your own facts, and then ask oneself thoroughly irrelevant questions about them. Cute - but stupid... I wonder if it occurs to them that we expect little else from them at this point.

Otherwise, the thousands of repeated wire pieces avoid mentioning that the 21 year old who yelled allah hu akbar before murdering a civilian bus driver and an American soldier in the theoretical paradise of the disarmed, was born and raised in Germany. His family has been there for 40 years, migrating to Germany a decade before Yugoslavia descended into conflict.

The branded retail press is otherwise indicating that they are unsure, if not puzzled by his motives. Unlike anticipating facts without evidence - that they don't shuttle to Wiesbaden in Green Mercedes buses or don't wear civilian clothes in route, they are unwilling to leap to conclusions.

For a Third of a Century, Government-Run Health Care Failed to Detect a Killer Drug

But… of course, Americans should look to Europe as a model to improve all aspects of their society, and… of course, Americans should adopt Europe's second-to-none health care system, and that in order to make all things related to health easier, cheaper, and more efficient, while ensuring the blessings of government-run health care to one and to all…

Of course — while we are in the "of course" mode — we should add that, what with the Mediator scandal rocking France (as reported by Laetitia Clavreul) with that drug's alleged 500 to 2000 deaths, the French have no idea as to which medicines, or as to which government pronouncement, to trust anymore — as reported by Pascale Santi in Le Monde — but apart from that insignificant detail, again: Americans should simply put their doubts on the back burner and jump with both feet into the brave new world, supremely confident that Europeans (as always) know best…

Oh! Wait! You haven't heard of the Mediator scandal?! Well, why should you have — since the scandal is hardly one that gives the best publicity to government-run health care… It is not just that a diabetes drug (doubling as weight-loss medication) stands charged, rightly or otherwise, of having caused hundreds (if not thousands) of deaths — that could plausibly be blamed alone on the private sector and its attendant evil pharmaceutical capitalists — the way the government has responded to the crisis leaves a lot to be desired…

First things first: To let Expedia put it:
France's government … warned patients to see their doctor if they took a diabetes drug that is believed to have killed 500 people over three decades …

…The drug was banned in France, where millions of people took it, in 2009 after being linked to heart valve damage. It is also banned in the United States, Spain and Italy.
While the "company that sold it, pharmaceuticals firm Servier, rejected the Afssaps estimate as 'theories founded on extrapolation'," it still seems to be something that health mecca Europe and its government specialists took 33 years to discover that a drug was not only unsafe but deadly!

But there is more. Expedia, again:
MEDICINES watchdog Afssaps has published a list of 77 drugs that it has under extended surveillance as part of the fall-out over the slimming and diabetes drug Mediator, which has been blamed for 500, and possibly 2,000, deaths.
Nearly 80 drugs, which had previously been guaranteed safe, by government health "specialists", and which suddenly are not (so much) anymore?! Furthermore, in the month since the Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé published the aforementioned list, Frenchmen are hardly — far from it — reassured by government intervention; indeed, they are lost as to which medicines they can trust and those which they cannot (and those which fall in the gray area in-between). Follows some testimony from concerned (and confused) citizens:
C'est la confusion, voire l'inquiétude, depuis la publication, lundi 31 janvier, par l'Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé (Afssaps) de la liste des médicaments « sous surveillance ». Livrée en vrac, sans grande explication, cette liste de 14 pages a été réclamée par le ministre de la santé, Xavier Bertrand, qui prône une vaste réforme du système de pharmacovigilance et d'autorisation des médicaments depuis l'éclosion du scandale du Mediator.
…Dans les pharmacies, les cabinets médicaux ou sur la Toile, les questions sont nombreuses. Dois-je faire vacciner mon bébé avec le Prévenar, présent sur la liste, se demande une jeune mère ? Dois-je arrêter le Lévothyrox - utilisé pour traiter l'hypothyroïdie - et dont les génériques sont visés ?, s'interroge une femme enceinte. « Un arrêt serait catastrophique », répond un médecin. Dois-je vacciner ma fille de 15 ans contre le cancer du col de l'utérus, sachant que les vaccins Cervarix et Gardasil apparaissent sur la liste ?, se demande encore une mère.

« Que dois-je faire ?, résume Jacques Meunier, 65 ans, atteint de la maladie de Parkinson, j'en suis à mon sixième médicament qui n'a pas réussi à limiter mes tremblements, est-ce que je continue ? » La ligne téléphonique de la Mutualité française, Priorité santé mutualiste, a ouvert un service spécial médicaments et Mediator, assailli d'appels. Au désarroi des patients s'ajoutent les critiques des médecins. « C'est un balbutiement maladroit d'une agence plus habituée à communiquer avec les firmes qu'avec le public », commente le médecin Bruno Toussaint, directeur de Prescrire, la revue qui avait alerté sur le Mediator.

…Objectif raté. L'affaire du Médiator provoque « un tsunami, une rupture de confiance », constate la présidente du conseil national de l'ordre des pharmaciens, Isabelle Adenot. « Nous assistons à une défiance de tous les acteurs. Il y a une suspicion à l'égard du prescripteur, du médicament, de l'Agence sanitaire..., constate-t-elle dans sa pharmacie. Et les remontées sont identiques chez mes confrères. »

« On est passé d'un extrême à l'autre, avec une défiance au-delà du raisonnable, insiste Mme Adenot, les Français ne prenaient jusqu'ici pas vraiment conscience de la dangerosité des médicaments. » Des Français qui consomment plus de médicaments que leurs voisins européens, selon une étude de l'assurance-maladie de 2008 menée sur neuf classes de médicaments. « Il y a une idée reçue très fortement ancrée dans les esprits : le réflexe médicament face à tout problème de santé ou facteur de risque », selon le professeur Hubert Allemand, médecin-conseil à la Caisse nationale d'assurance-maladie. Les études montrent en effet que les visites chez le médecin se terminent par une ordonnance dans 90 % des cas, contre 43 % aux Pays-Bas, par exemple.

And there, in the final paragraph quoted, we have it: the money quote — of course. Leaving aside all the unsavory facts of the Mediator scandal, the government-run health system and free or cheap medicine for everyone have ensured that people in France turn to drugs at an inconceivable rate, one that is more than twice that of at least one of their Northern neighbors.
…"until now, the French weren't really aware of the dangers of drugs." Frenchmen who consume more drugs than their European neighbors, according to a 2008 study of health care conducted on nine classes of drugs. "There is a belief very strongly rooted in people's minds", according to Professor Hubert Allemand, medical adviser to the National Health Insurance office: "when faced with the slightest health problem or risk factor, the reflex to immediately turn to a drug". Studies show that visits to the doctor [in France] end with a prescription in 90% of cases, as opposed to 43% in the Netherlands, for example.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A Grand Utopian Failure: Quotations from Gadaffi’s “Green Book” [ii]

Nothing quite like a rationalization for tyranny – or course “in the name of the people”... He always DID work the Commie angle anyway:

Plebiscites are a fraud against democracy. Those who vote "yes" or "no" do not, in fact, express their free will but, rather, are silenced by the modern conception of democracy as they are not allowed to say more than "yes" or "no". Such a system is oppressive and tyrannical. Those who vote "no" should express their reasons and why they did not say "yes", and those who say "yes" should verify such agreement and why they did not vote "no". Both should state their wishes and be able to justify their "yes" or "no" vote.

What then, is the path to be taken by humanity in order to conclusively rid itself of the elements of dictatorship and tyranny?

The intricate problem in the case of democracy is reflected in the nature of the instrument of government, which is demonstrated by conflicts of classes, parties and individuals. The elections and plebiscites were invented to cover the failure of these unsuccessful experiments to solve this problem. The solution lies in finding an instrument of government other than those which are subject to conflict and which represent only one faction of society; that is to say, an instrument of government which is not a party class, sect or a tribe, but an instrument of government which is the people as a whole. In other words, we seek an instrument of government which neither represents the people nor speaks in their name.

Haunted by the Ghost of Imperialism: The Establishment of a Presidential Pattern

I count the president among the Americans who are sunk in stereotypes and dogmas
Leon Wieseltier writes, from the Left, of the Apologizer-in-Chief as the The New Republic's Washington Diarist points out that "the awakening peoples prefer our assistance to our penance" —
even if the good people at the White House want you to know that he is somehow a hero of this springtime. By now—after Tehran, Tunis, Cairo, and Tripoli—a presidential pattern has been established. Obama’s reluctance to lead, and to establish the United States ringingly and incontrovertibly as the ally of the freedom movements, is owed to many things, but most of all, I think, it is the result of certain conventional assumptions about the historical agency of the United States in the developing world.

In almost his every pronouncement about the valiant accomplishments of the liberalizing crowds in “the Arab street” (now an honorific!), Obama keeps insisting that we had nothing to do with this, that they did all this on their own, that Arab democracy must not be the work of the United States or any foreign power. He dreads the imputation of our influence. All his assurances of a new world notwithstanding, he is haunted by the ghost of imperialism.

…the post-post-imperialist moment in the Arab world … means only that the awakening peoples prefer our assistance to our penance. Obama seems to prefer something like the opposite. He seems to believe that American support for Arab democracy—actual support, loud support, practical support—would constitute a repetition of an old and ugly pattern of American intrusion, and would therefore set the collective memory of the region against us.

Paris Sera Toujours Paris - IX

For those of you getting sentimental for the city of lights, art, fashion, etc., etc.™®©, ¡No Pasarán! Brings you truth in advertising.

Obama's Failure to Close Guantanamo? It's the Fault of Bush and of the Trap Laid by His Evil Henchmen

It's all Bush's fault! (Bounced.) Indeed, it isn't just his fault, it was an evil trap deliberately left there by Dubya and his henchmen!

Bush Derangement Syndrome is back in force in France (but did it ever leave Europe's shores?), as Le Monde — which obviously has no idea of the contents of the Geneva Convention — describes the Guantánamo situation as a "judicial trap" (and "a pure illegality" concerning "that place of shame" where "torture" was "practiced" on "so-called terrorists") laid by lying, conniving, treacherous officials of the Bush administration. With most Le Monde readers adding their habitual hooey, this of course means in turn that Barack Obama is but a poor defenseless victim of the evil Bush — as you can see in the piece's title (Barack Obama Caught in the Guantanamo Trap) and in very first sentence (read in the original French).
The legal trap set by the Bush administration, rooted in the ideology of the "war on terror", closes in on the Obama Administration. … the U.S. president [signed] a presidential order authorizing the internment without trial and for an unlimited period of some detainees at the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

... That trap, set up after al Qaeda's attacks on September 11, 2001, initially consisted in the invention of a legal category, called "unlawful enemy combatant", for the sole purpose of derogating from American and international law, especially the law of war as codified in the Geneva Conventions.

Insomuch as the so-called terrorists did not fit into the usual categories of the law, it was as simple to create the Guantanamo prison as it was to practice torture on them, as long as "legal guidelines" decreed them to be in accordance with the law.

... According to the principle of self-fulfilling prophecy, by legalizing de facto a legal "black hole", the Bush administration created prisoners untouchable by the courts.…

On May 21, 2009, Mr Obama acknowledged that the latter constitute "the most difficult specific issue facing" his administration. Today, by decree, he finds himself entangled in this outrageous situation and [having had], in turn, to confirm a pure illegality: the endless deprivation of liberty imposed on human beings without trial.

"You broke it, you fix it", goes an American saying … Washington, under George Bush, "broke" the respect that his administration owed to international law. Barack Obama intended to fix it. Faced with a Congress where Republicans (massively) and Democrats (mostly) choose security imperatives over any other concern, he vows he still wants to fulfill that promise. And, ultimately, to close that place of shame.

But meanwhile, he too has come to derogate from international law. The easy solution would be to follow the view of a certain Jack Goldsmith, former writer of George Bush's "legal guidelines"; he recently advised Obama to stick to a simple standard: "Do not put the terrorists on trial, lock them up." Realism consists in remembering that the renouncement of law always ends up turning against he who allows himself down that path, even if he believes what he is doing is only temporary

related: What should enrage every decent citizen is that the real torturers — from Zimbabwe to China, from Syria to North Korea — get a pass from the political left ("The demands to shut down our Guantanamo lock-up for terrorists have nothing to do with human rights. They're about punishing America for our power and success.")

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

French Government Remix a Headache for Sarkozy One Year Prior to Presidential Election

Hortefeux (who was forced out of the interior ministry): One minister who resigns, that's OK… It's when there is more than one that the problems start!

Plantu has more on the government remix, an unwanted development which is a big headache for Nicolas Sarkozy so close to the 2012 elections as it looks far from professional…

Improvised Egyptian Riot Wear v.5.0

Saucepan, towel, and a personal floatation device... should definitely get at least a B- for creativity.

Hurry up ‘n Wait

EU calls emergency Libya summit for 11 March

They’re running out of time to try to look important.

"I will make proposals to the European Council on the strategic lines of the European Union's reaction to developments in Libya and in our southern neighbourhood," EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy said in a written statement on Tuesday (1 March).
Note: not in the past tense. Let’s not forget the “land of debate”:
France is also keen to debate military support for humanitarian aid, economic assistance for the wider region and a general "reset" in EU relations with Maghreb countries.
Otherwise, they’re in no big hurry. The languid "slow food" movement appears to have also made a dent in the leadership of the "Grand Area"
The diplomatic contact noted that new sanctions could be ready by Thursday and that the summit could be brought forward if "something atrocious" happens in Libya before next week.
Nonetheless, the obvious must also be stated:
Germany was initially reluctant to hold the Libya meeting, with German diplomats saying as late as Monday afternoon that the French idea is "not serious."

A Grand Utopian Failure: Quotations from Gadaffi’s “Green Book” [i]

By the mad dog from the Jammin’ Jamhiriya himself:

If the instrument of government is dictatorial, as is the case in the world's political systems today, society's awareness of deviation from its laws is expressed only through violence to redirect its course, i.e., revolution against the instrument of government. Violence and revolution, even though they reflect the sentiments of society regarding deviation, do not constitute an exercise in which the whole of society takes part. Rather, violence and revolution are carried out by those who have the capability and courage to take the initiative and proclaim the will of society. However, this unilateral approach is dictatorial because the revolutionary initiative in itself provides the opportunity for a new instrument of government representing the people to arise. This means that the governing structure remains dictatorial. In addition, violence and effecting change by force are both undemocratic, even though they take place as a reaction against an undemocratic prior condition. The society that revolves around this concept is backward. What, then, is the solution?

The solution lies in the people being themselves the instrument of government whose authority is derived from Basic Popular Conferences and the General People's Congress; in eliminating government administration and replacing it by People's Committees; and finally, in the General People's Congress becoming a truly national convention where Basic Popular Conferences and People's Committees convene.
So how are those Committees going, Mo?

Does He Also Think That They’re too Lazy to Steal ?

Plantu is a bigot

Monday, February 28, 2011

Defining Deviancy Swedishness Down

That is, when someone writing in Le Monde starts arguing that that bad sex can easily be confused for rape when one of your political icons is at risk. Americans have little patience for this. The “feminist defense” of Bill Clinton was amusing enough. What next? MORE atmospheric talk of “what’s wrong with rape anyway?”

The obfuscation becomes even more pathetic when you start attributing it to national stereotypes:

Perhaps the Swedes are the victims of a certain Swedish myth? In Summer with Monika (1953), Ingmar Bergman filmed the young Harriet Andersson, and emphasised her character’s liberated attitude to sex in a scene where she bathes naked, which has been credited with promoting the “Swedish sin" of assuming that an unattached woman is an easy lay. But if you do watch Summer with Monika, do not forget to look out for the moment where the camera follows Harriet Andersson as she prepares to go to bed with a man that she had decided to abandon — a shot that Jean-Luc Godard described "as the saddest in the history of cinema."
Of course... that explains EVERYTHING! Especially individuals’ motives and behavior! Predestination by the movies!

Predestine THIS.

The Stuttering Speech of King Nicolas I

Oscar for The King's Speech
• "King" Nicolas Sarkozy: Iiiii have dddecided to rennnnominate Jjjjuppé who will brrrring honor once again to Frrrrrance's diploplo… diploplo… (pfff!…) to that thingamajig with foreigners, illegals, burkas, and all that stuff…
As predicted last week, Michèle Alliot-Marie is out of a job, replaced in the foreign ministry by (now former) defense minister Alain Juppé, a Sarkozy government reorganization satirized by Plantu in the wake of the Oscar given to Colin Firth for his stuttering character in The King's Speech

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Improvised Egyptian Riot Wear v.4.0

I guess he has to hold that broken bucket all day, and with his non-chicken-salad-sandwich-throwing or gesticulating arm.

Vietnam War Photo Exhibit Shows Killed Photographer's Battle Shots

The Maison européenne de la photographie (MEP) is showing Vietnam war photos by Henri Huet, a French photographer who was killed 40 years ago when the helicopter that he was traveling in (along with three other photographers) was downed by the Viet Cong in February 1971.