Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In the Wake of the NYT's Benghazi Report: What, At This Point, the Newspaper of Record Must Be Hoping Will Not Happen

Stilton Jarlsberg's Hope'n'Change blog takes on the New York Crimes (thanks to Duncan):
After an in-depth 15 month investigation, the NY Times has issued a groundbreaking exclusive report that says the brutal terror attacks in Benghazi had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, nothing to do with the anniversary of 9/11, and were in fact caused by a spontaneous outpouring of anger over an anti-Islamic video which had been on Youtube for months without anyone paying attention to it.

In other words, the NY Times is printing complete and utter bullshit (more so than usual, even) for the sole purpose of jumpstarting the rehabilitation of Hillary "What does it matter?" Clinton just in time for the kickoff of her presidential run.

 … Despite their alleged 15 month investigation, the NY Times still hasn't been able to answer one of the most pressing questions about the horrific night: where was Obama and what (or who) was he doing instead of giving a rat's ass about a US Ambassador being sodomized and murdered?!
To which Duncan adds a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon by Watterson:
Don't forget to check out John Rosenthal's The Jihadist Plot
(The Untold Story of Al-Qaeda and the Libyan Rebellion)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Leftists clearly don’t mean what they say when they sing the praises of nondiscrimination statutes

[The A&E] network is clearly petrified of the tolerance bullies 
laments Benny Huang.
The homosexual left claimed another scalp … with the indefinite suspension of America’s favorite bearded backwoods hunter, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.

 … The curious case of the Duck Dynasty star is not about the first amendment as some have contended. The US Constitution does not bind private employers. Sometimes speech comes with consequences and sometimes those consequences mean losing your job. Ask Martin Bashir about that. I happen to think that the perpetually offended homosexuals at GLAAD should cease and desist with their childish temper tantrum and start modelling that tolerance thing they’re always talking about, but that doesn’t mean that Robertson’s rights have been violated.

 While free speech may not be an issue here, religious discrimination is. Robertson was suspended for vocalizing his religious beliefs. It would be no different than asking a Hindu if he thinks eating beef is wrong then suspending him for saying yes. Cattle eaters of the world, of which I am one, have neither the persecution complex nor the well-funded, well-organized political machine that homosexuals have.

My contention that Robertson is the victim of illegal employment discrimination will not sit well with so-called liberals, who interpret religious discrimination so narrowly as to include almost nothing. These same people interpret discrimination based on sexual orientation so broadly that it means everything up to and including sexual conduct. Conduct is not orientation but applied law treats it that way for all practical purposes. A liberal might say that he wasn’t punished for his religion but for making “bigoted” comments.

That’s like saying that we didn’t fire you for being gay but for saying that you’re gay. A liberal might also argue that it’s not discrimination because A&E doesn’t have a blanket policy barring Christians. As long as they don’t suspend all Christians in one sweep there’s no discrimination. Another smokescreen. If A&E suspended one black employee for his skin color but continued to employ another, that would still be discrimination.

 … Leftists clearly don’t mean what they say when they sing the praises of nondiscrimination statutes. There is always a disconnect between their words and their actions when the victim of discrimination is a Christian. Take, for example, this quote taken from the US Department of Justice’s website: “People should be hired or not hired because of their skills and merit, not because of their faith. And people should not be forced to choose between their faiths and their jobs.”

Except Phil Robertson.

 … Liberals support anti-discrimination laws because it allows them to feel magnanimous. They like to think of themselves as the anti-bigots yet they can’t bring themselves to enforce the laws they pass when religion is the sticking point, particularly if that religion happens to be Christianity.

  … all private sector nondiscrimination laws are stupid. They insert the government into the employment relationship, forcing one party to engage in a transaction against his will. In the absence of a contract, either party should be free to dissolve the relationship at any given time.

I am completely consistent about this. Some types of discrimination are indeed ugly and immoral but it isn’t the government’s business to force citizens to associate with people they don’t want to.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Smart Diplomacy: Boeing's Super Hornet Banned From Brazil's Fighter Sales Because of Fury Over NSA Scandal

From the annals of Smart Diplomacy: In Le Monde articles by Nicolas Bourcier and Dominique Gallois, whose main point is that France's Rafale fighter (pictured) lost the fight for Brazil's air force to Sweden's Gripen (with 0 sales of France's latest warplane so far, what country can be expected to purchase it?), we learn as an aside that Boeing's Super Hornet — once the favorite of the Brazilian military's wishes — was ousted when Brazil learned of the NSA spying scandal and after Dilma Rousseff complained of Barack Obama's "grave violation of human rights" and "disrespect to national sovereignty".

En choisissant, mercredi, le Gripen NG du suédois Saab aux dépens du groupe français et du F/A-18 Super Hornet de l'américain Boeing, la présidente Dilma Rousseff a opté pour l'avion considéré par les experts comme le moins cher. Selon la presse locale, il avait également la préférence des militaires brésiliens depuis plusieurs années.

Ce choix permet en outre de ménager – un an avant l'élection présidentielle au Brésil – la gauche du Parti des travailleurs (PT, au pouvoir) qui aurait vu d'un très mauvais oeil la signature d'un contrat avec l'avionneur américain quelques mois à peine après les révélations sur l'espionnage de la présidence brésilienne par l'Agence nationale de sécurité (NSA).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vive la Raison d'État: French Readers Send Broadsides Against Capitalists Like Mikhail Khodorkovsky

In reaction to Piotr Smolar's Le Monde story on Vladimir Putin's liberation of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (along with 20,000 other prisoners), readers lash into the Yukos founder's personality, motives, and modus operandi. In other words, praise for Russian (formerly, for Soviet) leaders for defending the holy motherland against greedy capitalist pigs, the pillagers who deserve nothing but to be sent to, or to remain in, Siberian gulags. Vive la raison d'État!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Racist! Le Monde's Mandela Cartoon

 Xavier Gorce

• Hey, d'ja wanna buy a Mandela mug?
• Nope

• How 'bout a Mandela towel?
A Mandela tablecloth?

• Hold on, I got Mandela key chains, mousepads, USB keys, snow globes…

• I don't want any Mandela products

• Racist!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

D-Day and the Bridge of Hope

The first place on French soil liberated by the Allies on D-Day was the Gondrée café by Pegasus Bridge. Five months after the British glider troops took the bridge (after midnight on June 6, 1944), the café couple's daughter was born, and in the intervening 70 years, she has remained true to her roots, remaining in the café, which now doubles as a Pegasus Bridge museum, and greeting  all types of veterans and tourists on their visits to Normandy.

Now Françoise H. Gondrée has written a memoir of her life, Pegasus Bridge Le pont de l'espoir. Let's hope it is due to be translated so that an English-language version is available.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Etiquette Manual for the Modern Métro Traveller

… there’s a fun new French e-book just out 
writes Stephen Clarke,
and it is specifically designed to be read on public transport.

It has a long title – too long, perhaps for smaller e-reading tablets: “Manuel du savoir-vivre à l’usage du voyageur moderne”. This translates as something like “Etiquette Manual for the Modern Traveller”. It’s a deliberately old-fashioned-sounding title chosen to signal that the contents are going to be fun. It is, though, a serious book, a genuine attempt to improve public behaviour on Paris’s crowded transport network. And it is quite witty. Two of its suggestions are: “being helpful means carrying an old lady’s bag to the top of the stairs … and then giving it back to her” and “being courteous means understanding that the enormous crossed-out cigarette on the walls of the Métro isn’t just a work of art”.

These rules have been suggested by users, and they highlight some real everyday problems. Among the most relevant is the plea “not to challenge the knight who accidentally steps on your foot to a duel”. You see this happening all the time. Given that the genuine rule one of Métro usage, especially at rush hour, is: “when the train pulls into the station, passengers waiting on the platform must form a dense crowd around the opening doors, thereby preventing anyone standing near the doors getting off, and then push their way on to the train while those who were sitting down are still trying to shove their way towards the exit doors”, you naturally see a lot of people losing their temper. Someone getting off will “accidentally” elbow someone getting on too early, and before you know it, a full-throated shouting match is in progress, with both people indulging in an in-depth analysis of their adversary’s race, physical appearance and supposed possession of testicles. It rarely goes beyond an exchange of words, but it holds the train up even more and creates a bad atmosphere in an already stressful situation.

And here lies the problem with these witty guidebook-style appeals for courtesy. The people who read them are usually not the ones offending. The jokes in the book were thought up by the victims of the bad behaviour, and they’re being too polite about it. Admittedly, the light, bantering humour is necessary because if you tell Parisians “do this”, they’ll be tempted to ignore you or do the opposite. If, on the other hand, you use humour, you’re suggesting that you don’t really care whether they do it or not, and that it might actually be cool to do it, so you’re in with a chance that they’ll actually do it. Sadly, though, even if the new manual does get a bit of media attention and raise awareness, its jokiness won’t solve many problems.

 … It’s easy to compare London to Paris. The Tube’s corridors are almost all clean and homeless-person free. London employs people to beg travellers on the platform to let people on the train get off. At the barriers there are people preventing fraud and giving advice. Escalators abound, whereas you’d be very hard pushed to find any Paris stations without long staircases. It all makes travelling around London feel much smoother. There is, though, one other key difference – the Paris system is incredibly cheap.

 … In Paris, you get what you pay for, and that includes sharing your trains and buses with a tiny but attention-seeking minority who are incorrigibly impolite. The person smoking on the platform or listening to loud music on a train isn’t just being impolite, anyway – he or she is being provocative, looking for an argument. There are people like that in every city and in Paris they often hang out in the Métro. The next time one of them is growling “connard, fils de pute, enculé” (literally “male version of the vagina, son of a whore, recipient of anal penetration”) at me for exiting a Métro rather brusquely, it’s not going to help if I tell him wittily that I am a knight who doesn’t want to be challenged to a duel. The reply would probably be a crushingly effective allegation that I am the “knight of his rectum”. That’s the kind of everyday wit you get on the Métro.
Stephen Clarke’s insider guide to his home city, Paris Revealed, includes a line-by-line portrait of the Métro network, and his own user manual for surviving on public transport.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Too many kids aren’t motivated to learn and too many teachers aren’t motivated to teach; It’s a baby-sitting service

American students are slipping further behind their peers from overseas, according to a study from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
complains Benny Huang.
Out of sixty-four countries surveyed, the US earned a grade of “average” in reading and science, and “below average” in math.

…/… The boondoggle of public education is an American shame. There’s something very wrong with our schools that seems to defy all of our most well-intentioned remedies. Without a clear diagnosis as to what ails our education system, we’ve stumbled around, searching in vain for the right medicine.

 …/… My layman’s diagnosis is pretty simple—our schools fail because ours society fails. Every societal ill eventually finds its way into schools, from unwed motherhood to drugs. Too many kids aren’t motivated to learn and too many teachers aren’t motivated to teach. It’s a baby-sitting service.

Here’s what I remember about being a student in a public school—kids with bangs in their eyes and bad attitudes, waiting for the bell to ring so they could steal away and smoke pot. I remember teachers trying to fill the day with time-consuming fluff, which is so much easier than teaching. I remember educators who chose the profession for ulterior motives, which were almost always political and left-liberal in nature. They taught their students that gay is good, America is bad, and there’s a racist hiding under every bed. Regardless of what subject they were hired to teach, certain teachers invariably blazed their own paths, incorporating white guilt into English class and environmentalist junk science into geography lessons.

Mandela and the ANC: A Look Back

The Diplomad has a good piece on Nelson Mandela and his African National Congress: Certain
informal "off the record" meetings with ANC reps while in Geneva and Vienna [in the 1980s] proved inconsequential, but showed the intense hostility of the ANC towards the USA, capitalism, and Western democracy. Some of the ANC had a very hard pro-Soviet, pro-Castro line, and there was no reasoning with them. These meetings, frankly, shaped my view of Mandela, making me suspicious of him and what he would bring to South Africa were he freed and in power at the head of the ANC.

As it turns out, I was right and wrong. The ANC was a lost cause; they did not believe in democracy, and had a large element of thuggery in their ranks. Many were terrorists who had received training in Libya, and were out for revenge and blood.
Mandela, however, was more complicated than I had thought. He had had his violent phase, but only after trying peaceful opposition to apartheid. Both in and after coming out of prison, he proved an extremely intelligent negotiator and compromiser, reaching understandings with Botha and De Klerk, and turning down the volume of the anti-white message of the ANC. He seemed to have an understanding that whites and other non-blacks were essential for a peaceful and prosperous South Africa. He also, surprise, did not go full Mugabe. He won election--although the vote counting was suspicious--served his term, trying to unite blacks, whites, Asians, and others into accepting the new post-apartheid South Africa. He did not try to drive the whites out, and did not go around confiscating farms and businesses. He did not encourage revenge against whites and sought a reconciliation of the races. A practical politician, he turned a blind eye to the rampant corruption among the ANC, finding it better to let the party members expend their revolutionary fervor making money. At the end of his term, he stepped down. Yes, he stepped down. That is an amazing thing in Africa; he stepped down on completing his term of office. It does not happen much on that continent. He, however, never got over his deep mistrust of the USA, and despite his credentials as a victim of human rights abuse, refused to criticize Qaddafy, never gave up his fervent admiration for Castro--who, ironically, runs a racist regime in Cuba--and remained very anti-Israel.
RelatedFans of Mandela Like to Forget That One of the ANC's Biggest Supporters Was Muammar Gaddafi

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Americans in Paris tend to fall into three categories

I’m aware that there are worse things to be than an American in Paris
writes Pamela Druckerman "who took the ultimate expatriate plunge" ("I started doing psychotherapy in French").
You could be, for example, a Congolese in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But as I spend my 10th Thanksgiving here, permit me a moment of reflection. Because Thanksgiving prompts the question that expatriates everywhere face: Shouldn’t I be going home?

The Americans in Paris tend to fall into three categories. There are the fantasists — people nourished by Hemingway and Sartre, who are enthralled with the idea of living here. The moneyed version of this person lives as close as possible to the Eiffel Tower. The Bohemian version teaches English or tends bar, to finance his true vocation: being in France. 

Then there are the denialists — often here for a spouse’s job — who cope with living in Paris by pretending they’re not in Paris. They tap into a parallel universe of Anglophone schools, babysitters and house painters, and get their French news from CNN. 

Finally there are people like me, who study France and then describe it to the folks back home. We’re determined to have an “authentic” French experience. And yet, by mining every encounter for its anthropological significance, we keep our distance, too.

No matter how familiar Paris becomes, something always reminds me that I don’t belong. 

 … The question of whether to stay is especially resonant for Americans in Paris, because many feel that they live here by accident. Not many foreigners move to Paris for their dream job. Many do it on a romantic whim. Expatriates often say that they came for six months, but ended up staying for 15 years. And no one is quite sure where the time went. It’s as if Paris is a vortex that lulls you with its hot croissants and grand boulevards. One morning, you wake up middle-aged — still speaking mediocre French.

 … The biggest lesson I’ve learned in 10 years is that I’m American to the core.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Europe's Superior Society? Over 1 Million Frenchman Have Trouble Getting Food on Their Dinner Tables

 This is what America's Democrats do not tell you when vaunting Europe's more generous, more humane, and more generally superior society. According to Le Monde's Catherine Rollot, over 12% of French adults have trouble getting enough good food on their tables, and one million Frenchman will be given food by the association Les Restos du Cœur (The Restaurants of the Heart). Nicole Darmon goes further, saying that 22% of people below the poverty rate are "in a situation of food insecurity."
C'est la France des frigos vides. Celle des produits discount et des petits paniers, celle aussi qui peine à frapper aux portes des associations caritatives pour se faire aider. Alors que s'ouvre lundi 25 novembre la 29e campagne des Restos du cœur, qui risque cette année d'atteindre le chiffre record de 1 million de personnes accueillies, de plus en plus de familles vivent en « insécurité alimentaire ».

De ces ménages qui doivent faire des restrictions telles qu'ils n'ont plus accès en quantité mais surtout en qualité aux aliments pour satisfaire leurs besoins nutritionnels et leurs préférences alimentaires, on sait peu de chose. En France, contrairement aux Etats-Unis, la notion est encore mal connue et souvent confondue avec l'absence ou l'insuffisance de sécurité des aliments. La tentation est aussi facile de restreindre cette population à celle des 3, 5 millions de bénéficiaires de l'aide alimentaire.

Pourtant, de l'avis de Nicole Darmon, directrice de recherche à l'Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), qui a étudié les comportements alimentaires des personnes défavorisées, 12,2 % des adultes appartiendraient à un foyer en « situation d'insécurité alimentaire pour raisons financières », soit plus de 6 millions de personnes, un chiffre bien supérieur à la population qui a recours à l'aide alimentaire.


« Ce phénomène, même s'il est trois fois plus fréquent parmi les ménages défavorisés, ne se résume pas à la pauvreté monétaire, explique Mme Darmon. On estime ainsi que 22 % des personnes qui vivent en dessous du seuil de pauvreté sont en situation d'insécurité alimentaire. Bien que plus faible, cette proportion atteint près de 8 % parmi les personnes vivant au-dessus de ce seuil. »

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Le Terroir: is the holistic combination of soil, geology, climate and local grape-growing practices real or mysticism?

"American wine growers have long expressed varying degrees of skepticism about [the] ineffable concept" of terroir, asks Nicholas Wade in a New York Times article (one replete with French phrases), "some dismissing it as unfathomable mysticism and others regarding it as a shrewd marketing ploy to protect the cachet of French wines."
 Terroir is a concept at the heart of French winemaking, but one so mysterious that the word has no English counterpart. It denotes the holistic combination of soil, geology, climate and local grape-growing practices that make each region’s wine unique.

 … Now American researchers may have penetrated the veil that hides the landscape of terroir from clear view, at least in part. They have seized on a plausible aspect of terroir that can be scientifically measured — the fungi and bacteria that grow on the surface of the wine grape. 

 …The discovery of stable but differing patterns of microbial communities from one region’s vineyards to another means that microbes could explain, at least in part, why one region’s zinfandel, say, tastes different from another’s. The links between microbes and wine-growing regions “provide compelling support for the role of grape-surface microbial communities in regional wine characteristics,” the researchers conclude.

 … While [David A. Mills] said that “I make fun of terroir all the time,” he believes that regional distinctions between vineyards do exist and that microbes have a role in creating them. If the specific links between microbes and the sensory properties of wine can be identified, growers will be able to take a savoir-faire attitude to terroir instead of a je ne sais quoi shrug. 

On the other hand, he added, pinning the qualities of wine on bacteria and fungi may spoil that frisson of enchantment for some connoisseurs. “Many people don’t want this figured out,” he said, “because it demystifies the wonderful mystery of wine.”

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

No other place on earth where you can get such a tear jerking and ass kicking mix of solemnity, emotion, respect for vets, and flat out amazement at what this old man can still do

I just watched this video and it really made my day 
writes a French expat in Texas about a Youtube video with a World War II veteran called Impossible Shots with Ted Gundy and Gibbs 1903A4 sniper rifle.
It may seem more like a Veteran's Day thing than Thanks Giving, but bear with me.

I wish you could see this through my foreigners eyes. This is stuff like this that happens only in America that makes this country great. I can't think of any other place on earth where you can get such a tear jerking and ass kicking mix of solemnity, emotion, respect for vets, and flat out amazement at what this old man can still do; involving guns, of course ;-) All of that like it's the most natural thing... Well I guess it is over here, but it certainly ain't for me.

So yeah, tis the day where you say out loud what you're greatful for. … I have to repeat that I'm really glad [my French wife] and I made it to this great country, and we'll stand by it when push comes to shove. [She's] got the pen, I got the sword, let's roll! ...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Che Guevara in 10 Quotes

Thanks to The Libertarian, we have proof of why Che Guevara is praised to such heights by the left (gracias por Instapundit).
Che was no innocent freedom fighter.  Known as ‘the Butcher of La Cabaña’, Che Guevara is known to have ordered the execution of several hundred people he suspected of betraying his communist ideology.  Often, he would have his soldiers and commanders shot without trial, in numerous cases performing the executions himself.   After successfully taking over Cuba, Guevara proceeded to order the imprisonment of gay men, sought the execution of all political dissidents, severely restricted the press, tried to ban rock and roll music, and drove the Cuban economy into the ground.  In his youth, he was even known by many of his friends to be an incurable racist, and rarely bathed.  In response to Che’s entirely undeserved popularity among anti-establishment youth in the UK and around the world, many organisations have begun to put up posters with select quotes from the guerrilla fighter, titled, “Can You Tell Who Said What?: Che Guevara or Adolf Hitler.”  All the quotes, selected for their brutality, are from Guevara.

Following in that vein, here are ten of the most revolting quotes from every university student’s favourite ‘freedom fighter’, Che Guevara:

Che Guevara
1)      “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates.  Instead, they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service.”

2)      “Youth should learn to think and act as a mass.  It is criminal to think as individuals!”
3)      “The victory of Socialism is well worth millions of atomic victims!”
4)      “We must do away with all newspapers.  A revolution cannot be accomplished with freedom of the press.”
5)      “To send men to the firing squad, judicial proof is unnecessary.  These procedures are an archaic bourgeois detail.  This is a revolution!  And a revolutionary must become a cold killing machine motivated by pure hate.”
6)      “Hatred is the central element of our struggle!  Hatred so violent that it propels a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him a violent and cold-blooded killing machine.  Our soldiers must be thus.”
7)      “The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have conserved their racial purity by a lack of affinity with washing, have seen their patch invaded by a different kind of slave: The Portugese.”
8)      “The black is indolent and fanciful, he spends his money on frivolity and drink; the European comes from a tradition of working and saving which follows him to this corner of America and drives him to get ahead.”
9)      “I fired a .32 caliber bullet into the right hemisphere of his brain which came out through his left temple.  He moaned for a few moments, then died.”
10)   “I’d like to confess, Papa, at that moment I discovered that I really like killing.”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Obama's foreign policy is but an auxiliary to fundamental transformation at home, useful not so much to create international stability per se, as to enhance Obama influence in pursuing his domestic agenda

The Iranian agreement comes not in isolation, unfortunately. The Syrian debacle instructed the Iranians that the Obama administration was more interested in announcing a peaceful breakthrough than actually achieving it.
Thus writes Victor Davis Hanson (thanks to Instapundit).
The president’s dismal polls are only a multiplier of that general perception abroad that foreign policy is an auxiliary to fundamental transformation at home, useful not so much to create international stability per se, as to enhance Obama influence in pursuing his domestic agenda. Collate reset, lead from behind, “redlines,” “game-changers,” ”deadlines,” the Arab Spring confusion, the skedaddle from Iraq, Benghazi, the Eastern European missile pullback, and the atmosphere is comparable to the 1979–80 Carter landscape, in which after three years of observation, the opportunists at last decided to act while the acting was good, from Afghanistan to Central America to Tehran.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oprah Castigates America for Its Racism, Sniffing that Some Americans Need to Die Out, But Regarding the Zurich Incident, Apologizes Obsequiously to the Swiss

Oprah Winfrey Castigates America for Its Racism, Sniffing that Some Americans Need to Die Out, But Regarding the Zurich Incident, Apologizes Obsequiously to the Swiss for Having Even Mentioned that It Occurred in Switzerland, for even daring mention that it was in their country that she (allegedly) encountered racism.
It would be foolish to not recognize that we have evolved, in that we're we're not still facing the same kind of terrorism against black people en masse as was displayed with the Scottsboro boys
said Oprah Winfrey in her BBC interview, before qualifying that with a "but":
Are there places [in America] where people are still terrorized because of the color of their skin, because of the color of their black skin? Yes.
Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey had an entirely different approach to Switzerland for the Zurich incident of racism, minimizing the whole affair before… apologizing to the Swiss!
Speaking on the red carpet premiere for her new film, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Winfrey said: "I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland."
"I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposely did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland," she added.
In other words, a racist occurrence in a foreign country turns out to have just been an incident and, in any case — whatever magnitude the racist occurrence really was — in the same way that Oprah never mentioned the Zurich store name to protect the storeowners, she should — for reasons of diplomacy, presumably, and good manners — have protected the Swiss nation and the Swiss people by not mentioning the country in which it took place…

Meanwhile, Americans she considers racists are the perpetrators of a "kind of terrorism" who need to die

Double standards, anyone?

Related: Witness the Unbelievable Amount of Racism That Exists Among Conservatives and in the Tea Party

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Home-Made Revolver

Le Monde's Serguei aims at those typical idiotic gun-lovin', cowboy-playin' nuts from rural America…

• I'd like to purchase a .357 Magnum

• Sending it over straight away on your 3D printer

Thursday, November 21, 2013

If a time traveler arrived in our age from 1960, he would hardly be able to speak the English language without being pilloried

Do leftists think that they own the English language?
asks Benny Huang with regards to the gay "language police".
 The way they lord over it like their personal fiefdom tells me that they do. They introduce new words, ban old ones, and assign new definitions hitherto unknown. What begins as a suggestion soon becomes an imperative—use the words they want you to use, the way they want you to use them, or pay the price.

 Keeping up with the latest jargon can be difficult. Every once in a while, some well-meaning person will use a word that was innocuous just a short time ago only to discover that it’s now inflammatory. If that person doesn’t understand why the old word is now verboten it’s okay to ask, though it isn’t okay to evaluate the reason and decide for himself whether it’s valid. Edicts of the language police are final.

 … If a time traveler arrived in our age from 1960, he would hardly be able to speak without being pilloried. “Negro” is now a derogatory term, though black is still acceptable, if not optimal. Apparently, the United Negro College Fund has not gotten the message. “Negro” is nothing more than the Spanish word for black. So it’s okay to say black, just not in a foreign language. What do these people have against Español?

 “Colored people” is equally unacceptable, though not “people of color” which is all the rage in academia. For the life of me, I can’t explain why one is okay but the other will get you fired. Maybe we should ask the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “People of color” means anyone who isn’t white, which is a strange definition because, last time I checked, white is a color. What are we supposed to call those who don’t fall into this category? People of no color?

No, we call them white. White is an acceptable word, though yellow is not. Don’t ask me why. Yellow people are called Asians even if they’re several generations removed from Asia but white people are called white. We don’t call them Europeans, unless they’re actually from Europe. Red is also unacceptable. We call those people Native Americans. It doesn’t matter if you have roots in this country dating back to the seventeenth century, if you aren’t red you can’t claim to be a Native American.

Get it? Black and white are okay, but red and yellow are racial epithets. I get dizzy trying to keep up.

Who knows what changes the future will bring? In all likelihood, the words we use today will be obsolete in a generation. New words will replace old words and we Gen-Xer’s and Gen-Yer’s will be the clueless old farts who inadvertently say offensive things.

One thing is for sure—when these changes occur, they will all be initiated by those on the political left. It’s their language, we just speak it. English is putty in their hands, to be molded as they please. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just so gay.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Shots All Over Paris, the Capital of One of the Nations Always Berating America for Its Gun Culture; the Élites Blame Some Bitter French Racist Opposed to Blacks and Gays — Shootist Turns Out to Be Muslim

Police officers fanned out in the French capital on Monday in search of the man responsible for a shooting at a newspaper headquarters that left one man gravely wounded and the city on edge 
reports the New York Times' Scott Sayare.
In what may be related episodes, a man opened fire later in the morning outside the headquarters of a major bank and there were reports that an armed individual in the same area had stopped a car and forced its driver to drive him to the Champs-Élysées. 
Related: Witness the Unbelievable Amount of Racism That Exists Among Conservatives and in the Tea Party
A young photographer’s assistant, 23 years old, happened to be standing at the entrance of our daily newspaper Monday morning, 
writes Libération's Annette Lévy-Willard, as she recounts what happened and tries to figure out who was behind the attack. Needless to say, she suggests that it is a bitter, gay-bashing French racist.
when a man armed with a shotgun came through the sliding door, straight off a pleasant street in the Marais.
As if this were a horror movie, the gunman, white, wearing a black cap and vest, moved toward the young photographer and shot him at least twice, at near-point blank range. He was struck by blasts in the chest and an arm. 
Our colleague was rushed to a Paris hospital, where he was in the operating room for hours. We hope desperately he will recover.

But why would Libération be the target of such violence? The man-with-a-cap is suspected of being involved in a similar incident on Friday, when a gunman entered the building of the TV news channel BFM, threatened staff members but left without harming anyone. If this is the same man, does he have a grudge against the press? 

Libération is a daily newspaper of the Left founded in 1973 by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir — this year, almost to the day, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary.  Libération is a “liberal” or “progressive” newspaper, as you might say in the United States. Editorially, it is supportive of gay marriage, a recent controversy in France. Traditionally, Libération also takes positions against racism and xenophobia. Earlier this month, the newspaper ran a long interview with Christiane Taubira, France’s black minister of justice, who had promoted the government’s new law permitting same-sex marriage. 

In October, a candidate for the National Front compared Ms. Taubira to a “monkey.” Picking up on the theme, right-wing demonstrators taunted her with a banana. At first, Ms. Taubira maintained a dignified silence about the abuse, but finally, she told Libération: “These racist attacks are attacking the heart of our democracy.” 
So we have two stories here: first, it turns out that gun control countries like France are hardly as safe from gun violence as they claim to be — as they claim to be in their usual tirades against the clueless idiot cowboys over in the lawless United States.

Second, contrary to the (desperate) wishes of the bien-pensant, the perpetrator turns out, as it happens, not to be a typical bitter white Frenchman clinging to his religion (and to his guns). He is a Muslim.

Since Annette Lévy-Willard's tirade came out, indeed, the shootist has been captured; as the BBC reports:
French authorities have named a man taken into custody on suspicion of carrying out recent gun attacks in Paris as Abdelhakim Dekhar
The suspect threatened a TV station last Friday, and attacked a newspaper office and a bank HQ on Monday.

 … The intruder emptied the chamber of his gun in the reception area without firing, saying: "Next time, I will not miss you."

Monday, November 18, 2013

The World Turned Upside Down: "Tonight I Am Eating French Fries"

It's the world turned upside down
writes Corine Lesnes in Le Monde and on her blog.
After the failure of the Geneva negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, America's neoconservatives cannot praise France highly enough, while various defenders of the Obama administration are full of resentment againt the United States' "oldest ally" for having railroaded the agreement through its "stubbornness".
 … "Vive la France" wrote John McCain on his Twitter account [while] Rick Grenell sent out the message: "Tonight, I'm eating French fries".
Corine Lesnes:
Après l'échec des négociations de Genève sur le programme nucléaire iranien, samedi 9 novembre, les néoconservateurs américains n'ont pas assez de louanges pour la France, alors que certains défenseurs de l'administration Obama sont remplis d'amertume envers « le plus vieil allié » des Etats-Unis pour avoir fait capoter l'accord par son « intransigeance ».

« Dieu soit loué pour la France », a déclaré le sénateur de Caroline du Sud Lindsey Graham sur CNN. « Les Français sont en train de devenir de très bons leaders sur le Proche-Orient. » Ce n'est pas la première fois que M. Graham, qui fait partie des faucons républicains, prend le parti de la diplomatie française. Fin octobre, lors du dîner annuel de l'ambassade de France à Washington en l'honneur de Raymond Aron, il a exprimé plus de sympathie pour les pays alliés ayant fait l'objet d'écoutes de la NSA que n'en a jamais fait l'administration.

John McCain, l'ancien candidat à la Maison Blanche, a lui aussi rendu hommage à la position française. « La France a eu le courage d'empêcher un très mauvais accord avec l'Iran », a-t-il salué, sur Twitter, avant d'ajouter en français : « Vive la France ! »

Dès la fin de la session à Genève, l'un des pratiquants de la première heure du french bashing de 2002-2003, ex-porte-parole de la délégation américaine lors de la bataille sur l'Irak à l'ONU, Rick Grenell, a lancé un mot d'ordre : « Ce soir, je mange des french fries [des frites]. » Avant de se féliciter : « Contrairement à Obama et Kerry, la France ne veut pas adoucir les six résolutions précédentes sur l'Iran. »


 … Le républicain Bob Corker a regretté que l'administration ait « toujours l'air prête à se jeter dans les bras des gens » au risque de « diminuer nos moyens de pression ».
C’est quand même fou, qu’à chaque fois que les faucons ou les « néo-conservateurs » (houlà, quelles expressions à vous faire peur!) (ré)agissent d’une manière ou d’une autre, on doive les décrire par des phrases pleines d’émotion (ébahir « Tous ceux qui ont arpenté les couloirs de l’ONU en 2002-2003″, « s’est pris de passion pour l’Hexagone », etc), suggérant que ce sont des badauds…

Personne ne semble se dire que les néo-conservateurs aient — tout simplement — pu faire (je ne dis même pas « ont fait ») preuve d’intelligence, de bon sens et — surtout — de consistence, et cela tout au long de leur présence sur la scène américaine :

• En 2003, disaient-ils (à l’attention de Chirac), les démocraties doivent s’unir face aux dictatures sanglantes et aux forces de l’obscurantisme ;

• En 2013, disent-ils (à l’attention d’Obama), les démocraties doivent s’unir face aux dictatures sanglantes et aux forces de l’obscurantisme

Rien d’inconsistent (ou d’effrayant) là-dedans…

N’est-ce pas ?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ach Du Lieber: It Iss (or It Vaz) a Cherman Infashun off Amerika!

Check out the census map in Jessica Jerreat's Daily Mail article (Dankeschön für Instapundit):
  • Census data shows heritage of 317 million modern Americans
  • Clusters show where immigrants from different nations chose to settle
  • Largest ancestry grouping in the nation are of German descent with almost 50 million people
  • African American or Black is the second largest grouping with just over 40 million people
  • Almost 20 million people claim to have 'American' ancestry for political reasons and because they are unsure of their family's genealogy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

At Omaha Beach, the Brave Still Stands

On the magazine Geo's (a European version of the National Geographic with a green border replacing the yellow one) web site, Jean-Luc Coatalem and Nadège Monschau present a series of Yves Gellie's modern-day photos from key historical places in Europe during the 20th century which are now tourist attractions, including shots from Omaha Beach, Auschwitz, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Gdansk shipyards.

Bloody Omaha was one of five beaches stormed during the D-Day landings in June 1944 (see also Omaha Beach Seen From the Skies and World War II Photos of Normandy in the Summer of 1944, After the D-Day Landings).

The private monument The Brave was the subject of a No Pasarán post almost 10 years ago, within the first months of the blog's existence, and around the time of George W Bush's controversy-laden visit to Normandy for the 60th anniversary commemorations of the landings.

 Read a brief account of the D-Day landings in 1944

Friday, November 15, 2013

If the true history of the West and Islam is being turned upside its head, what other historical “orthodoxies” being peddled around as truth are also false?

The full magnitude of the modern West’s ignorance of its own past recently struck me while rereading some early history books concerning the centuries-long jihad on Europe. The historical narrative being disseminated today simply bears very little resemblance to reality.
Thus writes Raymond Ibrahim (shookhran to Victor Davis Hanson).
Consider some facts for a moment:

A mere decade after the birth of Islam in the 7th century, the jihad burst out of Arabia.  Leaving aside all the thousands of miles of ancient lands and civilizations that were permanently conquered, today casually called the “Islamic world”—including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and parts of India and China—much of Europe was also, at one time or another, conquered by the sword of Islam.

 … for roughly one millennium—punctuated by a Crusader-rebuttal that the modern West is obsessed with demonizing—Islam daily posed an existential threat to Christian Europe and by extension Western civilization.

And therein lies the rub: Today, whether as taught in high school or graduate school, whether as portrayed by Hollywood or the news media, the predominant historic narrative is that Muslims are the historic “victims” of “intolerant” Western Christians.  That’s exactly what a TV personality recently told me live on Fox News.

So here we are, paying the price of being an ahistorical society: A few years after the Islamic strikes of 9/11—merely the latest in the centuries-long, continents-wide jihad on the West—Americans elected a man with a Muslim name and heritage for president, who openly empowers the same ideology that their ancestors lived in mortal fear of, even as they sit by and watch to their future detriment.

Surely the United States’ European forebears—who at one time or another either fought off or were conquered by Islam—must be turning in their graves.

But all this is history, you say? Why rehash it?  Why not let it be and move on, begin a new chapter of mutual tolerance and respect, even if history must be “touched up” a bit?

This would be a somewhat plausible position—if not for the fact that, all around the globe, Muslims are still exhibiting the same imperial impulse and intolerant supremacism that their conquering forbears did.  The only difference is that the Muslim world is currently incapable of defeating the West through a conventional war.

Yet this may not even be necessary.  Thanks to the West’s ignorance of history, Muslims are flooding Europe under the guise of “immigration,” refusing to assimilate, and forming enclaves which in modern parlance are called “enclaves” or “ghettoes” but in Islamic terminology are the ribat—frontier posts where the jihad is waged on the infidel, one way or the other.

All this leads to another, perhaps even more important point: If the true history of the West and Islam is being turned upside its head, what other historical “orthodoxies” being peddled around as truth are also false?

Were the Dark Ages truly benighted because of the “suffocating” forces of Christianity?  Or were these dark ages—which “coincidentally” occurred during the same centuries when jihad was constantly harrying Europe—a product of another suffocating religion?  Was the Spanish Inquisition a reflection of Christian barbarism or was it a reflection of Christian desperation vis-à-vis the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who, while claiming to have converted to Christianity, were practicing taqiyya and living as moles trying to subvert the Christian nation back to Islam?

Don’t expect to get true answers to these and other questions from the makers, guardians, and disseminators of the West’s fabricated epistemology.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Obamacare Wreck Explained: The bureaucrats and the activists thought they were smarter than the markets, and smarter than the people who have actual experience in the private sector

Remember when you’re watching [the Obamacare train wreck] that it pertains to the same people who now argue that they know better than you about what kind of insurance coverage you need.
writes Ed Morrissey (thanks to Instapundit).
 … The White House didn’t heed [warnings] for the same reason they embarked on this project in the first place.  The bureaucrats and the activists thought they were smarter than the markets, and smarter than the people who have actual experience in the private sector.  It’s the same infection that creates the monumentally tone-deaf argument that people should be happy that the government forced them out of existing plans they chose for themselves in order to pay more for coverage that the consumers know they don’t need.  It’s unbridled hubris, and it produced this inevitable Greek tragedy that also doubles as farce.

Tunisia Two Years After its Arab Spring Outbreak of Joy

From the annals of Smart Diplomacy, Plantu produces a cartoon on the Arab Spring in Tunisia…