Saturday, October 08, 2011


Goofy green ‘power’ has arrived in its own self-referencial hell:

“Competitiveness: 48% of all solar systems installed in Germany originate from China because German capacity simply cannot meet the demand.”

That’s only half true; German companies have ceased to make cells in Germany because you can’t afford to do it in Germany anymore; the process is rather energy-intensive so you better do it in a place where electricity is cheap. I am not being ironic – the cost of electricity rises because of the cross-subsidizing of wind and solar installations; this cross-subsidy must be paid by private and commercial customers – 3.5 cent a kWH, no exceptions, even though the base tariff of an industrial consumer is about half of what households pay. So the green subsidy regime prevents the cost-effective production of green solar cells in Germany – the green death spiral in action.

So, if we absolutely had to we could produce the cells and modules ourselves but it would become economic carnage.

We still assemble some of the modules in Germany but this is being ramped down too and the work is sent to Malaysia by several German companies…
Frankly, I don’t think that there’s any irony left to find in this stuff.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Le Monde Equates Tea Partiers with the 19th-C Know-Nothing Party and Compares the Shape of the Washington Monument to a Klansman

While Charlotte Chabas lauds the anti-Wall Street protestors in Le Monde, asking — hopefully — whether they aren't the Democrats' equivalent of the Tea Partiers, Corine Lesnes states unequivocally in the same daily that the Tea Party is today's equivalent of the 19th century's ("anti-Catholic") Know-Nothing Party while comparing the shape of the Washington Monument — how is this for racist innuendo?! — to a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
At a height of 169 meters, the Washington Monument is the flagship of the capital — the obelisk is the highest in the world, if we are to believe the National Park Service. The tip has a shaped hood. It is pierced with small diamonds that shine at night like the eyes and always give Washington the appearance of a capital of conspiracy.

Avec 169 m de haut, le Washington Monument est le phare de la capitale — et l'obélisque le plus haut du monde, si l'on en croit le National Park Service. La pointe a une forme de cagoule. Elle est percée de petits losanges qui brillent la nuit comme des yeux et donnent toujours à Washington l'allure d'une capitale de la conspiration.

As I wrote in the post regarding "A Terrible Colonial War" (France's Past in Africa Is Covert, Sealed, and Taboo),
it is much easier to attack America for its sins, real or alleged, directly or by innuendo, past (slavery, the treatment of Indians, etc) or present (the Iraq War, etc), when your own past (and to a certain degree, your present), whether composed of deeds or misdeeds, are both sealed and taboo…

"A Terrible Colonial War": France's Past in Africa Is Covert, Sealed, and Taboo

It is time to end France's falsification of history regarding Cameroon, write Thomas Deltombe, Manuel Domergue, Jacob Tatsitsa, François Gèze, Ambroise Kom, Achille Mbembe, and Odile Tobner (the first three of whom are the authors of Kamerun!: A Covert War that Originated Modern French Africa 1948-1971) in Le Monde, under a title called La guerre coloniale du Cameroun a bien eu lieu.
At the origin of the half century of dictatorship in Cameroon, one finds a war. A terrible colonial war led by the French army, a war that was covert and that is still taboo today. It is up to us, Frenchmen as well as Cameroon nationals, to look this truth squarely in the eyes.

Before and after the official proclamation of independence of the country, on 1 January 1960, Paris resorted to every trick possible to break down the movements, led mainly by the Union of Peoples of Cameroon (UPC), demanding true independence respecting popular sovereignty. In this territory placed under UN trusteeship in 1946 — but administered by France and the UK — the Fourth Republic, under the orders of François Mitterrand, Gaston Defferre, and Pierre Messmer, sparked an all-out war in the middle of the 1950s. The gagging of the opposition, the creation of bloody militias, widespread torture, displacement, psychological warfare, assassinations: the methods of "revolutionary war" — and sometimes the very men in charge of carrying them out — were the same as those put into practice at the same time in Algeria.

The Fifth Republic by General de Gaulle pursued the same policy of repression after the "independence" entrusted to the candidate chosen by Paris, President Ahmadou Ahidjo. It did this by heightening the war in the west with heavy shelling, which put the entire region "Bamileke" region to fire and sword.

... If, today, the French government is still lying as flagrantly, it is because the past is a burning issue.

... In February 2005, the Ambassador of France in Algeria recognized the "inexcusable tragedy" of the massacres at Setif and Guelma in 1945. That same year, Jacques Chirac went to Madagascar to recognize the responsibility of France in the terrible repression of 1947. Who will go to Cameroon to say — just to say — what is a historical fact: that France waged a war there? This may imply recognition that this war gave birth to a ruthless dictatorship, that is to say, another form of war, in permanent shape, against an entire people. But at a time when French leaders claim to promote democracy in the Arab world, would it not be consistent to acknowledge the major responsibility that the "homeland of human rights" bears in the war that erupted in Cameroon and that established for the past five decades one of those bloody dictatorships that are typical of Françafrique?
As I have always said, it is far easier to attack America for its sins, real or alleged, directly or by innuendo, past (slavery, the treatment of Indians, etc) or present (the Iraq War, etc), when your own past (and to a certain degree, your present), whether composed of deeds or misdeeds, are both sealed and taboo…
A l'origine de ce demi-siècle de dictature, on trouve une guerre. Une terrible guerre coloniale menée par l'armée française, une guerre cachée et encore taboue aujourd'hui, qu'il nous appartient à nous, Camerounais comme Français, de regarder en face.

Avant et après la proclamation officielle de l'indépendance de ce pays, le 1er janvier 1960, Paris a tout essayé pour briser les mouvements qui, portés principalement par l'Union des populations
du Cameroun (UPC), réclamaient une indépendance réelle respectant la souveraineté populaire. Dans ce territoire placé sous la tutelle de l'ONU en 1946 - mais administré par la France et le Royaume-Uni -, la IVe République, sous les ordres de François Mitterrand, Gaston Defferre ou Pierre Messmer, a déclenché une véritable guerre au milieu des années 1950. Bâillonnement de l'opposition, création de milices sanguinaires, torture à grande échelle, déplacement des populations, guerre psychologique, assassinats : les méthodes de la "guerre révolutionnaire" - et parfois les hommes chargés de les appliquer - sont les mêmes que celles mises en oeuvre au même moment en Algérie.

La Ve République du général de Gaulle a poursuivi la même politique de répression après l'"indépendance" confiée au candidat choisi par Paris, le président Ahmadou Ahidjo. En accentuant encore la guerre à l'ouest du pays à l'aide de bombardements intensifs, qui mirent à feu et à sang toute la région "bamiléké".

… Si, encore aujourd'hui, le gouvernement français ment aussi effrontément, c'est parce que ce passé reste d'une actualité brûlante.

…En février 2005, l'ambassadeur de France en Algérie a reconnu la "tragédie inexcusable" des massacres de Sétif et Guelma en 1945. La même année, Jacques Chirac est allé à Madagascar reconnaître la responsabilité de la France dans la terrible répression de 1947. Qui ira au Cameroun pour dire - simplement dire - une réalité historique : la France y a mené une guerre ? Cette démarche impliquera sans doute de reconnaître que cette guerre a enfanté une dictature implacable, c'est-à-dire une autre forme de guerre, permanente, contre un peuple entier. Mais à l'heure où les dirigeants français prétendent promouvoir la démocratie dans le monde arabe, ne serait-il pas cohérent de reconnaître la responsabilité majeure de la "patrie des droits de l'homme" dans la guerre qui a embrasé le Cameroun et y a installé depuis cinq décennies une dictature sanglante typique de la Françafrique ?

Honk if you Feel the Urge to Purge

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Kan Hugh Borrow me a Pencil?

These kids understand where opportunity in the world lies:

As many as 95% of pupils at secondary level are studying English as a foreign language, according to figures from 2009 published from the Eurostat
They also know where they don’t stand a chance.

In Heart of One French Ghetto, the Local McDonald's Served as the Eye the Storm During the Riots and as the Symbol of Republican Principles

The only bright spot, at least in Clichy-sous-Bois, in the story of French ghettos becoming increasingly islamicized, seems to be the local McDo (McDonald's), where everybody — jeunes (youth), law officers, young couples — come together in harmony, and which was one of the rare places in the 2005 riots to be spared the damage that inflamed the surrounding buildings and businesses. (Meanwhile, the much-ballyhooed Beurger King Muslim met with little success and had to close its doors in 2007.) As for the McDonald's,
"It plays a significant role in the local job market," said Gilles Kepel, pointing out that since its opening, some 1,000 people in total have worked there, usually part-time.

... "The continued success of the McDonald's outlet along with the of rout its competitors are linked to the fable of the iron pot and the earthen pot," says Gilles Kepel. "Teams of full-fledged management teams benefiting from the expertise of the world's largest multinational fast food company on the one hand, and relatively inexperienced operators and an artisanal approach on the other." Along with the paradox of a multinational, a symbol of America, becoming a place of "quasi-republican integration" by offering hamburgers and fries, an area of conviviality, and jobs.

[Quant au McDo] "Il joue un rôle non négligeable sur le marché de l'emploi local", explique Gilles Kepel, que depuis sa création un millier de personnes au total y ont travaillé, généralement à temps partiel.

… "Le succès persistant du McDo et la déroute de ses concurrents tiennent de la fable du pot de fer et du pot de terre, souligne Gilles Kepel. Des équipes de gestion parfaitement rodées bénéficiant du savoir-faire de la plus grande multinationale de la restauration rapide d'un côté, des opérateurs relativement inexpérimentés et une approche artisanale de l'autre." Avec ce paradoxe d'une multinationale, symbole de l'Amérique, devenue un lieu d'"intégration quasi républicaine" en proposant des burgers-frites, un espace de convivialité et des emplois.

Good-Bye, Friend

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Their 'Hope' is Basically 3rd World Sectarian Hatred

As if it wasn’t going to decay into it anyway.

Hope-and-change has now sunk into little more than a tawdry spectacle of racial spoils,
Says Victor David Hanson.
In the current racial circus, the president of the United States, in addressing an assembly of upscale black professionals and political leaders, adopts the style of a Southern Baptist preacher of the 1960s. He alters his cadences and delivery to both berate and gin up the large audience — posing as a messianic figure who will “march” them out to speak truth to power. In response, the omnipresent Rep. Maxine Waters goes public yet again, to object that the president has no right to rally blacks in this way, when he does not adopt similar tones of admonishment with Jews and gays. (Should Obama try to emulate the way he thinks gays and Jews talk in his next address to them?)
Do, indeed. After all treating voters like they are little more than a useful, subdivided faction to mock and pander to is de rigeur for the left to begin with. Identity in their world, is getting your hyphenated spokes-drone on TV, and getting your genetic faction’s name on the banner at the front of the protest.

Somewhere along the way, they forgot that people are wiser than that.

"Banlieue de la République": The Increasing Place of Islam in France's Ghettoes

Six years after the riots that broke out in France, what is it that brings society together in France's ghettos, and keeps people glued together in daily life, asks Luc Bronner on the front page of Le Monde. Is it la République? No — it is the Islamic religion. That is the conclusion of "Banlieue de la République", the title of the Institut Montaigne's recently-issued investigation.
Voilà un constat qui va déranger. Dans les tours de Clichy-sous-Bois et de Montfermeil (Seine-Saint-Denis), les deux villes emblématiques de la crise des banlieues depuis les émeutes de l'automne 2005, la République, ce principe collectif censé organiser la vie sociale, est un concept lointain. Ce qui "fait société" ? L'islam d'abord. Un islam du quotidien, familial, banal le plus souvent, qui fournit repères collectifs, morale individuelle, lien social, là où la République a multiplié les promesses sans les tenir.
… Le sentiment de mise à l'écart a favorisé une "intensification" des pratiques religieuses, constate Gilles Kepel [le politologue qui, accompagné de cinq chercheurs, est retourné dans les cités populaires de Seine-Saint-Denis pour comprendre la crise des quartiers]. Les indices en sont multiples. Une fréquentation des mosquées beaucoup plus régulière - les deux villes (60 000 habitants au total) comptent une dizaine de mosquées, aux profils extrêmement variés, pouvant accueillir jusqu'à 12 000 fidèles. Une pratique du ramadan presque systématique pour les hommes. Une conception extensible du halal, enfin, qui instaure une frontière morale entre ce qui est interdit et ce qui est autorisé, ligne de fracture valable pour les choix les plus intimes jusqu'à la vie sociale.

… L'islam a aussi et surtout fourni une "compensation" au sentiment d'indignité sociale, politique et économique. C'est la thèse centrale de Gilles Kepel, convaincu que cette "piété exacerbée" est un symptôme de la crise des banlieues, pas sa cause. Comme si l'islam s'était développé en l'absence de la République, plus qu'en opposition. Comme si les valeurs de l'islam avaient rempli le vide laissé par les valeurs républicaines. Comment croire encore, en effet, en la République ? Plus qu'une recherche sur l'islam, l'étude de Gilles Kepel est une plongée dans les interstices et les failles des politiques publiques en direction des quartiers sensibles... Avec un bilan médiocre : le territoire souffre toujours d'une mise à l'écart durable

The Institut Montaigne issued a declaration called Pourquoi "Banlieue de la République"? by Claude Bébéar, Nicolas Baverez, Jacques Bentz, Guy Carcassonne, et al while Luc Bronner and Stéphanie Le Bars ask Gilles Kepel some questions, all the while TV's Marie-Caroline Missir offers a 34-minute video from the TV show Impact in which Gilles Kepel, Xavier Lemoine, and Claude Dilain share their thoughts on how France's ghettos have changed six years after the riots that broke out there. As for Lucien Oulahbib, he has problems with Gilles Kepel's take on the issue…

Check out what place served as a sanctuary during the 2005 riots and still represents "an area of conviviality" between les jeunes and police officers…

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Green Activists Abusing Low and Middle Income Asthmatics

Those tiny little somewhat affordable, over the counter inhalers will be banned because they contain minute amounts of critically useful CFCs. Apparently this tiny amount is still deemed an unforgivable hazard to the ozone layer.

But the switch to a greener inhaler will cost consumers more. Epinephrine inhalers are available via online retailers for around $20, whereas the alternatives, which contain the drug albuterol, range from $30 to $60.
They must be so proud.

Obama's Beliefs and Attitude Bear as Much Reason for Scrutiny as Republicans' Do

A number of pundits have questioned the credentials of Republican candidates because of their religious beliefs ("Republicans Against Science" by Paul Krugman, Aug. 29, and "A Deep Faith in What's Been Proved" by Chrystia Freeland, Sept. 1, among others), with the New York Times' Bill Keller weighing in with a theatrical call for an investigation into the teachings of the churches that such types of people attend.

The first thought that comes to mind is that it might have been good if the mainstream media had spent as much time looking into Senator Barack Obama's beliefs (religious or other) during the 2008 election campaign as it now promises to do with the 2012 Republican candidates. But it would seem that a Democrat's church is not to be second-guessed — especially when, like Jeremiah Wright's, it stresses America's (and Western civilization's) sins, real or otherwise, while promoting victimization and bitterness.

More importantly, Barack Obama may not question "the science of evolution and climate change" and not be a member of the "anti-science party," but so what, if he belongs to the anti-basic-economic-common-sense party and if he is constantly — not just questioning but — dissing and undermining America's free-market system?

Wouldn't it seem that a political candidate's religious beliefs, while far from unimportant, are less so than a candidate's business views? And while it might be true that Barack Obama is ahead of the pack regarding the creation of the world, what are we, more pragmatically, to make of the president's economic policies? His billion-dollar stimulus has wasted a trillion dollars while failing to bring unemployment below 9 percent; at over 2,000 pages, his health care bill is illegible; and on his watch, the nation's debt has risen from $10 trillion to $14 trillion — not to mention that, for the first time in a century, the nation's credit rating was downgraded.

In fact, speaking of worldviews "rooted in faith or ideology" (and the following might have emerged during the 2008 campaign if the media had spent more time looking into the Reverend Wright's teachings), "Obama the empiricist" still seems to believe in the (self-serving) fairy tale that all entrepreneurs from the private sector are nothing if not heartless capitalist pigs (with the possible exception of those who contribute to his election campaigns), exploiting the masses of clueless martyrs, to the aid of whom interventionist politicians like himself must ride — heroically — to the rescue.

This "pragmatic" worldview, incidentally, probably helps explain the "show of seeming disrespect for a sitting president" ("Republican makes Obama cool his heels" by Helene Cooper and Jackie Calmes, Sept. 2, and "Hostility to president surpasses politics as usual" by Jennifer Steinhauer, Sept. 3-4). For years, the man nicknamed the "Uniter" has scolded Republicans and lectured them as if they were symbols of the dark side — he famously never once held a meeting with the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, during the first 18 months of his presidency — apparently because the man called "God" by a Newsweek editor (Newsweek's Evan Thomas on Hardball, MSNBC, June 2009) thinks that his interventionist ideas and theories, or those of the Left, are the only ones worth paying heed to, implementing, and obeying. The new type of politics that Obama promised for Washington has often consisted in making a speech that starts with making a generalization about all politicians engaging in politics and being partisan followed by, when it comes to specifics, castigation of the Republicans alone for the country not going forward (as in early September when he said that congressional Republicans alone "must put their country ahead of their party" — "Obama challenges Republicans on job creation" by the Associated Press).

As David Brooks wrote last summer ("Congress in the Lead, July 26), Obama's appearances are
suffused with that 'I'm the only mature person in Washington' condescension that drives everybody else crazy, [lecturing] the leaders of the House and Senate in the sort of patronizing tone that a junior high principal might use with immature delinquents.
Who, then, is it who is being disrespectful and showing "relentless acrimony"? And who is it who is being arrogant? And what kind of business — in all senses of the word — can one do with a president who is so partisan?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Barosso feels Hurt

José Manuel Barosso must need the Special massage with ‘happy ending’ and maybe some ‘Anger Management’ too, I guess, because his feelings matter more than the economy of alf a billion Europeans and that of the developed world:

“I feel hurt when I see some in other parts of the world, the patronising way they say to us Europeans, what we need to do. I think frankly that we have problems, very serious problems, but I think we do not have to apologise for our democracies. We need not apologise for our social market economy,” he said, in a veiled reference to the American criticisms.
This would be especially hilarious if Europeans had actually dealt with their problems over the past 3 years, other than the zen-like “stress tests” that nobody took seriously.

Please mister world, make Mr. Barosso unhurt... and pay for it too, while you’re at it.
The failure of regulators worldwide to address European banks’ fragile dependence on short-term funding is “putting the Fed in a really awkward position,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington regulatory research firm whose clients include the biggest U.S. banks. The swaps with Europe “are an extremely advantageous political football” for critics of the Fed, she said.
Don’t worry, kids, the Europeans supply of childish passive-aggression will never run out. It’s part and parcel of the fact that the Bank-saving recapitalization program that the Europeans called for was precisely what they scorned Geithner about publicly.
Schäuble was referring to strongly worded comments made by US President Barack Obama and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in recent days. At an event in California on Monday, Obama warned Europeans that their inaction was "scaring the world." The Europeans, he said, "have not fully healed from the crisis back in 2007 and never fully dealt with all the challenges that their banking system faced
Which they were only made public to try to shut the US up. A strange thing for the world’s champions at lecturesome finger wagging to say.
But perhaps the Europeans simply don't like a taste of their own medicine. When a US default was looming back in July when Congress was unable to agree on raising the debt ceiling, European commentators were quick to weigh in and give Obama and the US unsolicited advice. "The global economy needs an American agreement," said a French government minister at the time.
Ya think?

Never do they ask the question WHY it is they felt a need to interfere. After all what’s so bad about dithering for 18 month while your economy will, without action being taken, tank the developed world.

Basically, the adults had to speak up at some point.

Otherwise, Mr. Barosso, we’re really sorry to have hurt your feelings.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

"Consider the energy and resource-intensive process required to produce a computer": Is There Really an Enviromental Benefit to Going Paperless?

Stefan Nowicki of Fort Mill's (South Carolina) Domtar Paper Company takes issue with, and seems to tear apart, another liberal belief:

[The Economist's] article on the United States Postal Service suggested that sending electronic Christmas cards over the internet is more “green” (“Neither snow nor rain”, August 20th). I take issue with that. When you take into account the entire life cycle of a piece of paper versus what it takes to send an e-card, it becomes clear that there is no environmental benefit to going paperless. Consider the energy and resource-intensive process required to produce a computer: extensive mining and refining operations of dozens of minerals and metals, many of which are not recyclable and will inevitably end up in a landfill once the device is rendered obsolete by the next generation of computer, tablet or smartphone. Add to that the carbon-generated electricity needed to power computers.

Contrast that with paper, which is one of the most recycled products; last year 63% of all paper purchased in the United States was recovered for recycling. In addition, more than 60% of the energy used to manufacture paper is generated on site from carbon-neutral biomass and recovered materials from the papermaking process. In fact, many of America’s paper mills are entirely energy self-sufficient.

A Formerly Sane Nation Finally Coming Around, Sort of

The Netherlands is having DTs:

Researchers want driving under the influence of drugs to be made illegal.
The world champions of moral compartmentation seem to be emerging from their haze and are finally becoming slightly aware. While drunk driving has been unlawful in the Netherlands for some time, driving under the influence of pills or grass hasn’t been.
While the number of deaths resulting from drunk driving has decreased from 30 to 20 percent in the past ten years in the Netherlands, there are more fatalities from the combination of alcohol and drugs.
But don’t get too hopeful if you find yourself having to drive through the magical forest – this is just a trial balloon. Since the use of narcotics is about all that most narrow-minded Europeans can perceive to be a right and the essence of freedom, it will surely be challenged.

Situational awareness now, even through that purple haze, as before, has always seemed to be a low priority there.

Roman Polanski: "I Have Become Accustomed to Death, Yes"

For the first time since his 2009 arrest, Roman Polanski gives an interview, an hour's length worth to Télévision Suisse Romande's Darius Rochebin (26 minutes of which can be seen on the TSR website).