Saturday, June 29, 2013

In 2015, a Copy of an 18th-C Frigate Is to Recreate Lafayette's Crossing the Atlantic Aboard the Hermione to America

Benedict Donnelly, the head of the Hermione-La Fayette Association, is looking for 3 million Euros to complete his dream of finishing the building of a copy of an 18th-century ship and have it sail to America (thanks to OlTri), in the footsteps (so to speak) of Lafayette.

Lafayette sailed as a passenger on the Hermione to America in 1780 and the building of the copy of that frigate, writes Le Figaro, has lasted for 15 years now. The copy, like the original, is to sail from Rochefort to Boston.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Deeply held feelings: A mystery that the pro-choicers are curiously uncurious to solve and a question they squirmingly refuse to answer

Disagreements about abortion nearly always end at the same impasse
writes Benjamin Duffy at Patriot Update
—an endless debate about when life begins.

The pro-life position is usually that it begins at conception. The pro-choice position—and I hate calling them that—is more nuanced, which is a nice way of saying convoluted. They’re sure that a human being exists at the moment of birth and that none exists at the moment of conception, but everything in between is a mystery that they are curiously uncurious to solve. While the pro-lifers’ preferred point comes with some of its own problems, it’s at least precise and non-arbitrary. The same cannot be said of pro-choicers’ squirming refusal to answer the question.

 … For the rabidly pro-abortion, the question of when life begins is not a scientific one but a matter of deeply held feelings. If a woman thinks the two-celled organism in her fallopian tube is a child, then she’s right. But if she thinks that a child just minutes before birth is merely a problem, then she’s right too. And it doesn’t stop there! Even when the nurse places the bouncing baby boy in his mother’s arms, his humanity is still an unsettled question.

What’s the verdict, mom? Baby or problem?

If mommy gives the thumbs down, the clump of cells in swaddling clothes can be whisked away to the incinerator. Notice I didn’t say “killed” because killing implies that a life existed in the first place. In the sick mind of [an abortionist like] LeRoy Carhart, the child never existed if his mother never accepted him.

It isn’t possible to understand Carhart’s analysis without considering how the pro-choice crowd perceives the issue. They believe that a child is a burden that no one should have to bear without full consent, ergo he must do a disappearing act if his mother finds him inconvenient.

Yet everyone knows that the question of when life begins has an answer, and it isn’t “when mama says so.” Mama could decide that her four year old is a problem, or her rebellious teenager, but we all agree that she can’t kill them. (Don’t we? Paging Dr. Carhart…) At some point life is an unambiguous fact, not subject to interpretation. Pro-choicers are very, very squeamish about drawing that line because someone will always cross it and then they will be in the position of having to condemn it.

The emergence of quick and legal abortion has warped our thinking in regard to pregnancy. “Baby bumps” are developing children only in the wombs of mothers who want them, as if nature cares at all what mama thinks. Our ability to convince ourselves that unwanted children never really existed in the first place borders on schizophrenic delusion.

 … The reason we’re still having this debate forty years after Roe v. Wade is because ordinary pro-choicers honestly believe that lives are not at stake. People on the inside of the abortion industry know better, but they don’t admit it when they know the cameras are rolling. If they ever spilled the beans the debate would be over because it’s the premise—that a growing fetus is a life—that’s disputed. The conclusion—that lives shouldn’t be tossed into a medical waste container—is not.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Even the NYT Is Forced to Admit that Abroad, Barack "Smart Diplomacy" Obama Is Treated with Discourtesy

[Barack Obama's] first meeting [with Russia's Vladimir Putin] was marked by a nearly hourlong lecture by Mr. Putin about all the ways the United States had offended Moscow. At their second, Mr. Putin kept Mr. Obama waiting 30 minutes.
Even the New York Times is forced to admit that Barack "smart diplomacy" Obama often gets the cold shoulder abroad, as Mark Landler and Peter Baker report on "very blunt conversation[s]" and "bruising encounters", given that the Apologizer-in-Chief's "main counterparts on the world stage are not his friends, and they make little attempt to cloak their disagreements in diplomatic niceties."
While tangling with the leaders of two cold war antagonists of the United States is nothing new, the two bruising encounters in such a short span underscore a hard reality for Mr. Obama as he heads deeper into a second term that may come to be dominated by foreign policy: his main counterparts on the world stage are not his friends, and they make little attempt to cloak their disagreements in diplomatic niceties

Even his friends are not always so friendly. On Wednesday, for example, the president is to meet in Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who has invited him to deliver a speech at the Brandenburg Gate. But Ms. Merkel is also expected to press Mr. Obama about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which offend privacy-minded Germans. 

For all of his effort to cultivate personal ties with foreign counterparts over the last four and a half years — the informal “shirt-sleeves summit” with Mr. Xi was supposed to nurture a friendly rapport that White House aides acknowledge did not materialize — Mr. Obama has complicated relationships with some, and has bet on others who came to disappoint him. 

“In Europe, especially, Obama was welcomed with open arms, and some people had unrealistic expectations about him,” said R. Nicholas Burns, a longtime senior American diplomat. Noting that Mr. Obama continued some unpopular policies like the use of drones, he said, “People don’t appreciate that American interests continue from administration to administration.”

 … Mr. Obama spent nearly four years befriending Mr. Putin’s predecessor, Dmitri A. Medvedev, hoping to build him up as a counterweight to Mr. Putin. That never happened, and Mr. Obama now finds himself back at square one with a Russian leader who appears less likely than ever to find common ground with the United States on issues like Syria

… “You don’t need to be buddies with someone to establish an effective relationship,” said Mr. Burns, who now teaches at Harvard. “Not everyone can be Roosevelt and Churchill forming a personal bond to end the Second World War.”

Even with friends, however, there is tension. President François Hollande of France was initially thrilled with Mr. Obama because he saw him as an ally against Ms. Merkel on economic issues.
But by the time they met at the Group of 8 summit meeting in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, the relationship had soured, according to French analysts, because France is frustrated that the United States did not do more to help with the war in Mali and resisted a more robust response to Syria

Mr. Obama differs from his most recent predecessors, who made personal relationships with leaders the cornerstone of their foreign policies. The first George Bush moved gracefully in foreign capitals, while Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush related to fellow leaders as politicians, trying to understand their pressures and constituencies. 

“That’s not President Obama’s style,” said James B. Steinberg, Mr. Clinton’s deputy national security adviser and Mr. Obama’s deputy secretary of state. 

 … For Mr. Obama, no relationship is more prickly, and yet more significant, than that with Mr. Putin. Mr. Clinton and Mr. Bush forged strong partnerships with their Russian counterparts, Boris Yeltsin and Mr. Putin, respectively. But even that did not prevent ruptures over NATO military action in Kosovo and the Russian war in Georgia. 

Mr. Obama arrived in office determined to invest in Mr. Medvedev, but he underestimated Mr. Putin’s continuing power. Their first meeting was marked by a nearly hourlong lecture by Mr. Putin about all the ways the United States had offended Moscow. At their second, Mr. Putin kept Mr. Obama waiting 30 minutes. 

 … However strained their appearance on Monday, Mr. Obama did not publicly criticize Mr. Putin on human rights or the rule of law. While the White House is frustrated by Russia’s refusal to abandon Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, Mr. Obama has been reluctant to intervene more forcefully on behalf of the rebels.

"Obama did not publicly criticize Mr. Putin on human rights or the rule of law." Well, no, that's something that's reserved for Republicans.
As for R. Nicholas Burns, we mention his FDR quip — “Not everyone can be Roosevelt and Churchill forming a personal bond to end the Second World War” — as we wonder how many media types recall how often they gushed about the One's "smart diplomacy", how often they claimed he was the man to bring respect and love back for America, and how often, precisely, they compared BHO to FDR (if it wasn't to Lincoln, to JFK, or to Reagan).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Obabush in his element in the heart of the Land of the Stasi

He is the spy who came in from the West, writes Arnaud Leparmentier in a column in which the Le Monde writer also reminisces about such things as JFK's speech to Berliners (1963) and Ronald Reagan's (1987), as well as Bill Clinton's many official visits to Germany when he was president (1990s).

Und who ish zhis shpy vrom de Vest zat ve are shpeakink apout? Well, about the White House's current resident, aka "Obabush", and his trip to the land of the Stasi. Indeed, this time (in contrast with his 2008 speech), Barack Obama's visit was held in the part of Berlin that was part of the former East Germany.
In the final analysis, the American president is in his element: at the heart of the former communist dictatorship, which spied upon and filed reports on all its citizens with its sinister political police, the Stasi. Shocking? We will not let him off the hook, this president, a curious winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who refrained from closing Guantanamo, and whose spying on our emails, our phone conversations, and our Facebook accounts has just been discovered. It was a promise, this Democrat was to break with George Bush. Wake up. At least for the present column, we will call him "Obabush."
From Le Monde:
Il est l'espion venu de l'Ouest. Et c'est à Berlin-Est, capitale de l'ancienne RDA, que Barack Obama devait prendre la parole mercredi après-midi 19 juin à Berlin. Non pas devant la porte de Brandebourg, mais derrière, entre les murs de la Pariser Platz. Au fond, le président américain est à sa place : au cœur de l'ancienne dictature communiste, qui espionnait, fichait tous ses concitoyens avec sa sinistre police politique, la Stasi. Schocking ? Nous ne décolérons pas contre ce président, curieux Prix Nobel de la paix, qui n'a pas fermé Guantanamo, et dont on vient de découvrir qu'il espionnait nos mails, nos communications téléphoniques et nos comptes Facebook. C'était promis, ce démocrate devait rompre avec George Bush. Que nenni. L'instant d'une chronique, nous l'appellerons "Obabush".

 … Dans les années 1990, Bill Clinton sillonne l'Allemagne et l'Europe déchirée par la guerre dans les Balkans. "Obabush", rien. Aucune visite officielle lors de son premier mandat. Juste [deux sauts de puce].