Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Chronicles Thoughts of Chinese Leader During Spring 1989 Uprising

Le Monde publishes a full-page extract of the book written from the interviews of Zhao Ziyang who was China's communist secretary general during the Tienanmen Square protests of 1989.

I had forgotten that some students in Beijing had started hunger strikes.

Recreational Ideology 101 reports this from the Mount Olympus of Banking:

Swiss protestors to hold anti-Wall Street demo

Elsewhere, their suffering is abundantly apparent:

With one of the best-paid workforces in Europe and an equally gold-plated social safety net, it's easy to see why working in Switzerland is so attractive. These factors are enhanced by low crime, picture-book scenery and the very best winter sports facilities.

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Typical Reaction

From the reactionaries at the Propagadastaffel. Two Americans win the Nobel Prize for work in Economics, and the typical reader comment at Libé

Ces prix ne veulent plus rien dire car trop politisé. The winner are always USA/Israel. Nobel d'économie alors que les usa sont dans un GROS CACA et pour des années encore.

These prizes do not mean a thing because they’re too politicized. Always the winner are US / Israel.[sic] Nobel economics, while the United States is a BIG CACA and for years to come.
Because it’s all about Jooooooooos!!!!

Plus, if it was politicized it would NEVER be an American or an Israeli. Otherwise to believe that people who gave the Peace Prize to Obama on evidence of his first 14 days in office, one would find “politicization “ in favor of Americans and Israelis is the usual deflecting, consoling fantasy of the hatefully delusional view common to the European left.

Of course, all Americans are interchangeable, and since Wall Street had a drop on the downturn in the economy, and then got as badly smacked as the population in the banking crisis, one where “Banks” like Dexia had 4 times more leveraged debt than the worst American bank, well, it must be all their fault!
Parce qu'apres ce que nous a fait Wall Street en 2008, le titre de cette article sonne bien marrant.

Because after what Wall Street did in 2008, the title of this article sounds especially funny.
Not to mention this “apolitical” and on-topic statement, because a prize given to anyone, anywhere is an insult and and attack on France:
ils ont donné des armes a l'oncle sam pour nous abattre ..comme dab , le nobel tombe sur des tueurs

They gave credence to Uncle Sam so that he could shoot us down... as with a boss, the Nobel [committee] gives in to killers
Because everything is about anything on their minds, you see.

Paranoia will destroy ya... So what is there to fall back on? Walt Disney’s little ditty “It’s a Small World After All”, where everyone with a flag is equal, except in this case, it’s invoked to salve “hurt national feelings” or something, to which a sane commentator responded:
Ah bon ??

Ils seraient les meilleurs parce qu'ils sont 300 et qq millions ?

Mais alors, les chinois ils devraient être bien meilleurs qu'eux, les indiens aussi.

Et les indonésiens qui sont prés de 100 millions, ils devraient meilleurs que nous.

Je crois que ton raisonnement ne vaut pas tripette. A mon avis tu devrais éviter de réfléchir. Fais comme les autres bourricots, contente toi de braire.

They would be the best because they are roughly 300 million?
But then the Chinese should be much better than them, the Indians too.
And Indonesia that are near 100 million, they should better than us.

I think your reasoning is worthless. In my opinion you should avoid thinking. Do as the other donkeys, braying happily.
Which is why they’re reading Libération.

Even the Police Blotter is Dull

Philadelphia has never smelt so... how to describe it... "off".

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"The Death Penalty Is a Continuation of Racial Segregation"

The death penalty is a continuation of racial segregation, says Arnaud Gaillard as the author of the book 999 (In the Heart of Death Row) answers the questions of Soren Seelow with the typical arguments of the left, ignoring such things as who sits in the Oval Office

Les Etats-Unis sont une des seules grandes démocraties (avec l'Inde et le Japon) à pratiquer la peine de mort. Comment expliquer cette singularité américaine ?

Parmi les explications possibles, il y a bien sûr le fait que la société américaine soit construite sur une violence omniprésente, illustrée par le port d'armes ou encore une criminalité très forte. Les Etats-Unis restent un pays de pionniers qui fonctionne selon le mot d'ordre du "marche ou crève". Les gens adhèrent à cette radicalité, la notion d'indulgence est peu partagée. La loi, tout comme la Constitution, est considérée par beaucoup comme d'inspiration divine, et la loi du talion, contenue dans l'Ancien testament, constitue aux yeux de beaucoup une justification en faveur de la peine capitale.

Il faut ajouter à cela que les Etats-unis sont une société jeune, quasiment adolescente, qui se construit par va-et-vients et dans l'excès. Le lynchage a perduré jusqu'en 1968 et la peine de mort subsiste aujourd'hui dans de nombreux Etats. Il y a certes un amenuisement de l'usage de l'exécution, mais le pays n'a pas encore développé un véritable regard critique sur la peine capitale.

New Europe is Old Again

The pretenses of the ‘non-partisan’ nature of domestic terror are gone.

A far-left group claimed responsibility for Monday's blaze just outside Berlin on the main line linking the capital to Hamburg, saying in an online message it had acted in protest against the German military's deployment in Afghanistan, now entering its 10th year.
It’s faux thinkers getting their jollies again, trying to kill people in a fit of recreational ideology.
At least nine separate attacks, involving a dozen or so incendiary devices, have been recorded since Monday on railway lines in and around Berlin, interior ministry spokesman Jens Teschke told a regular news briefing on Wednesday.
The goal? The usual. As for the part of the left ‘moderate’ enough not to want to murder, their peace-movement inspiring objections to violence are actually rather dubious:
Some leftists have recently condemned the ongoing spate of arson attacks on cars in Berlin, because they are not just targeting the luxury cars, but the Opels of hard-working Berliners.
Because they care. And they think that’s cover for their living out their own fantasies vicariously through those brave ‘men of action’:
But clearly some elements of the scene is sliding inexorably towards terrorism. They want to make Germany a better place – just as the Baader-Meinhof gang did in the old days.
Those of you who would enjoy reading the whole piece in the original Klingon can find it here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So What Else is New?

Europeans are revolting.

Both Merkel and Sarkozy face political pressures that are becoming increasingly enmeshed with Europe's search for a solution to the euro-zone debt crisis. Facing a revolt to further bailouts among members of her center-right coalition, Merkel insists that banks should first seek capital from shareholders, then from their national governments. Only as a last resort should governments tap the EFSF to immunize their banks against financial contagion. France appeared to diverge from the German position earlier this week by emphasizing that euro-zone members should be able to tap the EFSF if banks can't raise capital from investors rather than requiring governments to first provide aid on a national level before using the European bailout fund. French banks are among the most exposed to troubled sovereign debt. And compared to European peers France's big banks are not as well capitalized, the International Monetary Fund warned in July.
Which primarily means that they should 'first seek capital from depositors' as opposed to taxpayers.

It will be the same damned thing when they finally recognize the scale of this stupidity: governments pressured banks to buy their bonds, which are no good, and now they are being pressured to use their depositors and investors (AKA: the public, including retirees' savings) to cover them.

Bend over and take one for the team government elite.

Has the French School System Killed the Pleasure of Learning?

Has the French school system killed the pleasure of learning? asks Mattea Battaglia in Le Monde after the publication of a study entitled Pleasure and Boredom in School, while Battaglia adds a report from a school inspired by the teachings of Maria Montessori.

Philippe Jacqué also interviews Christine Barats while Battaglia interviews Peter Gumbel, a former Time Magazine correspondent and current Science Po teacher who compares the French and American systems.
Il nous a fallu nous acclimater à une école qui met l'accent sur les consignes, où il ne faut pas dépasser les lignes… La différence entre les deux modèles confine à la caricature. L'un valorise l'élève, parfois à l'excès ; l'autre met systématiquement en avant ce qui ne va pas.

Le sentiment d'échec scolaire est-il une spécificité française ?

Une profusion d'enquêtes comparatives montre que les élèves français, à la différence d'autres enfants, dans les pays anglo-saxons ou nordiques, manquent de confiance en eux. Ils ont peur de l'échec, sont anxieux, au point d'hésiter à parler en classe, même lorsqu'ils savent leurs leçons. Ce qui frappe l'étranger que je suis, c'est la "culture de la salle de classe", impitoyable, qui décourage, enfonçant les plus fragiles, et qui peut se résumer en trois mots : "Tu es nul."

Comment changer la donne ?

Il faudrait supprimer les outils de "torture pédagogique" que sont la notation et le redoublement. La France conserve un taux de redoublement (38 %) trois fois plus élevé que la moyenne des pays de l'OCDE. Et elle n'hésite pas à distribuer des 0/20, voire des notes négatives, mais rarement un 20/20. Secundo, renforcer la formation des enseignants. Le bien-être, le plaisir à l'école sont des outils pédagogiques, et doivent être reconnus comme tels, pour participer pleinement à la progression, à l'épanouissement des enfants.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple's French CEO Remembers Steve Jobs

From 1981 to 1990, Apple was headed by a Frenchman. Jean-Louis Gassée answers the questions of L'Expansion's Raphaëlle Karayan.
How would you like Jobs to be remembered?

I was thinking, I really hope that he gets a statue! But then I figured that it would take eight of them. One statue for the Apple II, another for the first Mac, one for Pixar, one for the iMac, one for the iPod and iTunes, one for the Apple stores, one for the iPhone, and one for the iPad! Let's take that in a metaphorical sense. However, on Stanford campus, there is a nice quiet mausoleum dedicated to the memory of Leland Stanford. It would be nice if there is one for Steve in a park in Palo Alto.

Comment aimeriez-vous que sa mémoire vive désormais ?

Je me disais, j'espère bien qu'il aura sa statue ! Mais ensuite je me suis dit qu'il en faudrait huit. Une de lui avec l'Apple II, une avec le 1er Mac, une pour Pixar, une pour l'iMac, une pour l'iPod et iTunes, une pour les Apple stores, une pour l'iPhone, et une pour l'iPad ! Prenons cela au sens métaphorique. Cela dit, dans le campus de Stanford, il y a un joli mausolée discret à la mémoire de Leland Stanford. Ce serait bien qu'il y en ait un pour Steve dans un parc de Palo Alto.

The Freedom Deficit at a Glance

No, they not talking about Zimbabwe, they're talking about the self-appointed "reality based community" of the American left.

Nothing says “I’m a willing idiot” like the 68% of lefties who don’t
that the Government has enough authority over people.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Motor Kaput !

Philosopher's Son Is Adviser to Georgia's President

The son of André Glucksmann, married to a minister in Mikheïl Saakashvili's government, has become an adviser to Georgia's president, explains Piotr Smolar in a Le Monde article that ends with a sarcastic reference ("Au diable la complexité !") to anyone who might be so simplistic as to think that the Kremlin leaders incarnate the enemy.
Depuis début septembre, André Glucksmann est grand-père. La mère de l'enfant, Eka Zguladze, est vice-ministre de l'intérieur de la Géorgie. A 33 ans, elle est chargée d'une réforme cruciale : la reconfiguration de la police. Le père, Raphaël, voyage souvent. Depuis janvier 2009, il est conseiller de Mikheïl Saakachvili, chef de l'Etat " mais avant tout un ami ". Son thème de prédilection : l'intégration européenne. Il veille à l'image du pays. C'est ainsi qu'il a participé à l'organisation d'un concert géant, en mai 2010 à Zougdidi, près de la frontière abkhaze, avec Youssou N'Dour, MC Solaar et Jane Birkin, amie de la famille. …

Un second Français figurait dans l'entourage du président géorgien, sans la même proximité : Thomas Eymond-Laritaz, détaché auprès du Conseil national de sécurité jusqu'à la fin août, tout en étant rémunéré par le Quai d'Orsay. Il estime que le rôle de Raphaël Glucksmann est significatif. " Saakachvili ne fait pas un one-man-show, il utilise beaucoup de canaux pour faire passer des messages et en recevoir, dit-il. Raphaël le connaît intimement, il joue un grand rôle dans l'écriture de ses discours. " Comment caractériser Raphaël Glucksmann ? Silence au bout du fil. " C'est un romantique ", lâche Thomas Eymond-Laritaz. …

La guerre a servi d'électrochoc : Raphaël Glucksmann est alors passé, selon son expression, " en mode partisan ". Partisan de la cause de la Géorgie, amputée de 20 % de son territoire avec la perte de l'Abkhazie et de l'Ossétie-du-Sud, piétinée par les troupes russes, abandonnée par son allié américain. A sa façon, le jeune homme met ses pas dans ceux de son père. L'ennemi, c'est " l'esprit KGBiste " qui domine le pouvoir à Moscou. La Russie est-elle une dictature, ou un Etat impotent ? Au diable la complexité ! La réalité ne donne plus la migraine lorsque le bien et le mal sont clairement identifiés.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Emails from the Edge

Who knew that email would turn a perfectly normal bulletin board type posting to sell something into an animated version of a Fellini film.

Not coming as much of a surprise, most of the exchanges seem to take place in and around Philadelphia.

As if you couldn’t guess.

From Me to ********
RE: Clydesdale horse needs caring owners:

Hey there!

Your horse looks beautiful! Is he still available?

Michael Murphy
Vice President
Murphy Glue Factory, Inc.

From ******** to Me
RE: Clydesdale horse needs caring owners:


(This one’s for you, Arf.)

United Nations firearms instructor from France accidentally shoots himself in the thigh

A United Nations firearms instructor from France accidentally shot himself during recertification training at Smith & Wesson [shooting range in Springfield, Massachusetts] late Thursday morning
reports News 22 in a story that we swear we are not making up.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney said the man, who is not being publicly identified, shot himself in the thigh during the class, which was held at their 299 Page Boulevard Shooting Sports Center at around 11:00 A.M.

The instructor was rushed to a local hospital for treatment and is expected to be okay.

The fellow who sent us this lamentable news item added this despondent comment:
I laughed my ass off. I mean, it's really unfortunate and all and...I shouldn't laugh at stuff like that. But I do.