Friday, December 31, 2004

"Day By Day" by Chris Muir

I want to thank Chris Muir for giving me the opportunity to carry his daily cartoon "Day by Day". So welcome to Damon, Sam, Zed and Jan. (Archives of past cartoons are available at the link.) Enjoy!

Important News From Spain

Barcepundit has posted on an important development in Spanish politics in his article dated 12/31/04. Mr. Aleman quotes:
The Basque Parliament approved a measure on Thursday that says the Basque region has the right to secede from Spain, a move analysts described as the most serious threat to national unity since the establishment of democracy here nearly 30 years ago.
"This is the clearest push for independence that the Basque country has made," said Antonio Caño, a senior editor at the newspaper El País. "It is a very clear challenge to the unity of Spain. I'd say it places the country in its biggest crisis of unity since democracy began here."
This shows the weakness of the Socialist government in the eyes of the Basque Seperatists. Mr. Aleman gives historical, political and social context in his commentary. He also provides links for background information on the Basque Seperatists:
Oh, and just as and end note: don't buy the crap about 'moderate nationalist' as several of the linked items define Ibarretxe and his party. True, they don't use guns or kill people, but they masterfully play a good cop, bad cop routine; while Ibarretxe and his ilk talk relatively nice, the radicals and ETA do the dirty job. And both sides profess an extreme nationalism based in ethnicist principles, celebrating the 'father' of the Basque Homeland, Sabino Arana. If you want to learn about the ideology, just read this post by John Chappell at Europundits, commenting some texts by English journalist John Hooper about the philosophical basis of Basque nationalism ("It's closer to Fascism than you might think"), and with some 'unvaluable' translations of Arana's doctrine. Be sure you don't miss it.
This is a significant development and I am convinced that this could have an impact outside of Spain. France is not exactly a disinterested party in this dispute. It will be interesting to see how "European Unity" works out in this situation. It is also quite likely to increase the terrorist activities of ETA. (It worked for the Islamo-Fascists, so why not for ETA?) We will see if the Socialists can muster the will and competence to deal with this. Go read this article!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Size Doesn't Matter

CaribPundit brings us news of Trinidad and Tobago's plan to contribute to the relief effort in South-East Asia. This is on top of their contribution to the rebuilding of Grenada. Perhaps Sweden (hat-tip to Tim Blair, see other updates there) could learn something here. (Please don't forget the ongoing efforts in the Caribbean to rebuild after Hurricane Ivan.)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Tsunami of Generosity

Tim Blair's post "Christmas Sales", shows that no opportunity for expressing Anti-Americanism will be lost. This diatribe come courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. As always, the figures used do not include private donations. But then "private" is not part of the socialist mindset.

I work for a small company that supports (with corporate profits) two Ugandan orphans through World Vision. In addition, some employees of that same company voluntarily support additional orphans through a payroll deduction. This springs from a project at my employer's church to provide support for every orphan in a Ugandan city. This is a long-term commitment. This is just one small example. At my own church, with a Sunday attendance of thousands, virtually everyone gives at least 10% of their pretax income. No pulpit pounding necessary, people go there partly because they believe that. Although I wish all Americans would do more, I see no virtue in our government doing more.

Enough Ranting. As Tim Blair said, "If you can't decide on a particular charity, I suggest World Vision." You will find their donation website here. You can link to their international organizations from that website also, if you would prefer. (This is for my thousands of international readers.) Once again, give like Democrats vote: early and often!

PS: Mr. Blair updates Australia's contribution figures here. Read it and laugh at the "very virtuous" effort of France!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Mark Steyn Has A Liberal Christmas

Mr. Steyn reflects on the current state of Christmas.
But every time some sensitive flower pulls off a legal victory over the school board, who really wins? For the answer to that, look no further than last month's election results. Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized Christianity in America. By ''politicized,'' I don't mean that anyone who feels his kid should be allowed to sing ''Silent Night'' if he wants to is perforce a Republican, but only that year in, year out, it becomes harder for such folks to support a secular Democratic Party closely allied with the anti-Christmas militants. American liberals need to rethink their priorities: What's more important? Winning a victory over the New Jersey kindergarten teacher's holiday concert, or winning back Congress and the White House?

In Britain and Europe, by contrast, the formal and informal symbols of religious faith remained in place in national life and there were no local equivalent to America's militant litigants, and the result is the total collapse of Christianity: Across the continent, the churches are empty. In attempting to sue God out of public life, American liberals demonstrate yet again that they're great on tactics, lousy on long-term strategy.

Oh, well. 'Tis the season of goodwill to all men, so in that spirit let me wish the ACLU a Happy Boxing Day. Yes, I know. Dec. 26 is Boxing Day only in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc., not in Illinois. But I don't see why America's fetishization of multiculturalism shouldn't extend to white, English-speaking cultures. And at least you won't get sued for saying it.

I hope "they" are not reading this.

Earthquake & Tsunami News

Tim Blair has an excellent news roundup, "Neighbours Killed", regarding the disaster in SE Asia. Please note that the death toll figures have climbed since this article was posted. See the excellent follow-up article here. The latter article includes a list of opportunities for contributing to the relief effort. Please give consideration to participation in that effort.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Chrenkoff Goes Around The World In 80

Blogs - the Christmas Edition. Chrenkoff gives us a roundup of the topics of 80 blogs. (If you are not familiar with Chrenkoff, you should get acquainted.) Take the time to peruse his list and explore some new blogs. (By the way, do I have a "cause of action" here?)

Tim Blair's Treasures, Part 2

Here are some diamonds from the last six months of the year:
* "It's pure propaganda, and I fully support it because I oppose the war." -- 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton reviews Fahrenheit 9/11 (In a past life he was Leni Riefenstahl's agent. - Mondo)
* "Viewers may come away from Moore's movie believing some things that probably aren't true." -- but that doesn't matter, according to Paul Krugman, because the film tells "essential truths" (Mr. Krugman used this analysis once before in his review of "Triumph Of The Will". - Mondo)
* "The fundamentalist Zionist lobby controls politics and the media in the US and Australia." -- Margo Kingston (Ms. Kingston, ever the good Australian leftist, plagiarized this from "The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion". - Mondo)
* "Truly, America is the most bloodthirsty nation on the face of post Stalin earth. It's military, it's government, its corporate carpetbaggers are sinking into such a swamp of deceit, denial and depravity that fair minded people the world over, including its own better informed citizens, can but recoil in horror." -- constant ABC and Fairfax presence Richard Neville (An Australian leftist channels Michael Moore - Mondo)
* "I assume Saddam, a ruthless, ambitious fan of Stalin, did bad things and killed a lot of people in his time. But kill them pointlessly? I don't think so." -- pointless ALP fetishist Bob Ellis (This man is a graduate of the John Kerry School of Nuance. -Mondo)
* "The angriest man at the convention turns out to be a Democrat: who'd have thunk. He's brutal. He's hammering Kerry like a blacksmith; if Kerry was a horseshoe he'd be thinner than aluminum foil." -- James Lileks on Zell Miller
* "It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims." -- Abdel Rahman al-Rashed in The Arab News
* "To have Negroes occupying us is a particular humiliation. Sometimes we aborted a mission because there were no Negroes." -- Abu Mujahed, one of Michael Moore's brave Iraqi minutemen (No doubt Mr. Mujahed will be the headline speaker at the next Nation of Islam national convention. -Mondo)
* "I was tired of Sudan being on the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. I was tired of dictators with Swiss bank accounts, like Castro and Arafat and Mugabe, masquerading as men of the people. I was tired of Europeans picking on cowboys, everybody picking on the Jews, and the whole supposedly civilized world of gutless wonders, including the dinosaur graveyard called Berkeley, picking on America and Israel. As I write this, 1.2 million black Christian and Muslim Sudanese are starving to death thanks to the Arab government in Khartoum and the worldwide mafia of France, Germany, China, Russia, and practically every Islamic country on the face of the earth. What happened to the little boy who cried when Adlai Stevenson lost? He died in Darfur." -- lifelong Democrat Kinky Friedman explains why the Democrats lost his vote in 2004
* "On Saturday night the giant, lumbering road train known as the will of the people, aka the democratic process, smashed through the pretensions, delusions and manipulations of the unelected and unaccountable who presume to tell Australians what to think and who to be." -- the Sydney Morning Herald's Paul Sheehan
* "I know a great deal about the Middle East because I've been raising Arabian horses." -- actor and intensely informed Bush opponent Patrick Swayze
* "Those little bastards betrayed us again." -- Hunter S. Thompson condemns the youth vote
* "All Iraqis were Republicans on election day. We are confident he will finish the job and wipe out terrorists from the region during the next four years." -- Ahmed, an Iraqi in Australia
* "Here's a newspaper article on blogs, pointing out that they can be inaccurate. It mentions my name: Dave Berry." -- Dave Barry
* "To criticise a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous but to criticise their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom." -- actor Rowan Atkinson on the UK's proposed don't-mock-Islam law (Mr. Atkinson, one of the funniest men alive, puts his finger on one of the problems of democracy. If you create a right to not be offended, then you will curtail free speech. Speaking from experience as a Baptist, you can get used to the main stream media kicking you around the block. -Mondo)
* "Look, guys, you got the benefit of the doubt with the 'butterfly ballots' in 2000, but we can't dumb it down for you much more than this." -- Free Will's Aaron after a Minnesota Democrat mistakenly awarded an electoral vote to John Edwards instead of John Kerry
* "It is not permissible to stand and urinate as this is now the culture of the Kuffaar." -- the Imam orders his followers to sit down for Islam (What, you can stand and do that? -Mondo)

Now go read the rest.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Tim Blair's Treasures, Part 1

Mr. Blair is doing a monthly compendium of notable quotes. These diamonds were found among the many treasures:

* "How are we supposed to find hidden and buried WMDs in Iraq if, wherever one digs there, we just keep finding mass graves?" -- poet Nelson Ascher
* "For a week I managed to persist in the happy belief that I was not living in a brutal police state. I fled home the next week, leaving all my illusions of the Arab world in my Cairo flat. I couldn't wait to be in America again. On the long flight home, I promised myself I would never accept anything less than full democracy for my fellow Muslims in the Arab world or apologize for the tyranny that now masquerades as Islam." -- US-born Muslim Murad Kalam (It really is true that foreign travel is educational. - Mondo)
* "I think I finally understand why Kerry underwent the botox treatments. It's so he could say all the things he does with a straight face." -- reader Dan G.
* "In general, I'm pro-life -- excuse me, I'm pro-abortion rights." -- Wesley Clark explains his position. Other Clark comments on the subject included 'I don't believe in abortion' and 'I have always been and always will be pro-choice'. (The General missed John Kerry's instructional video series "Nuance In The Lexus-Nexus Age". - Mondo)
* "They are the Klan without the sheets. Worse: they don't have the inbred moonshine-addled mah-pappy-hated-nigras-an-I-hate-'em-too dense-as-a-neutron-star stupidity of your average Kluxer. They didn't come to this level of stupidity naturally. They had to work at it." -- James Lileks on the extreme anti-liberation, anti-Bush Left
* "Americans are polite and friendly when you speak to them. They are not rude like Afghans. If I could be anywhere, I would be in America. I would like to be a doctor, an engineer - or an American soldier." -- teenage former Guantanamo Bay inmate Asadullah. As The Guardian's James Astill wrote: "This might seem to jar with the prevailing opinion of Guantanamo among human rights groups" (Further proof that foreign travel is enlightening! -Mondo)
* "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies." -- hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi refuses to yield to his Saddamite captors. Al-Jazeera declines to run footage of his murder, declaring it "too gruesome" (This is unlike how the French live: "Here are our weapons and our Jews - do with them as you please."; or the Spanish: "Bomb us and we will punish you by pulling out our troops." Mark Steyn has written most eloquently on the limp-wristed response of the English press and public to the murder of a British citizen by the Islamicists and points to the heroism of Mr. Quattrocchi for comparison. (I apologize for not providing a link - look for it.) It is of special significance that the mouthpiece of Islamo-Fascism chose not to show someone who died like a man. Mr. Blair points out that "too gruesome" as a criteria seems unique to this case - Mondo)

* "In my neighborhood in Puerto Rico, Tillman would have been called a 'pendejo,' an idiot. Tillman, in the absurd belief that he was defending or serving his all-powerful country from a seventh-rate, Third World nation devastated by the previous conflicts it had endured, decided to give up a comfortable life to place himself in a combat situation that cost him his life ... this was a 'G.I. Joe' guy who got what was coming to him." -- University of Massachusetts undergraduate Rene Gonzalez (U Mass can be proud of this example of intellectual achievement. See Lileks above. No doubt this young woman is a future Democratic presidential candidate! -Mondo)
* "Tommy Rødningsby volunteered to make life better in a country far away, in a conflict he could have stayed out of. That was brave, and worth our respect and admiration. Our politicians and pundits are soft and confused, but our professional soldiers stand comparison to anyone." -- Bjørn Stærk on Norway's first casualty in Afghanistan
* "Using artificial insemination to get pregnant, lesbians are four times more likely to have children than gay men." -- Reuters uncovers a shocking statistic
* "When the old fella said 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!' I laughed at his blustery naivete, as I did whenever he uttered the phrase 'Evil Empire.' Needless to say, I was wrong about that, and he was right, and I'm still ashamed about it." -- Matt Welch
* "In Berlin there used to be, like, a communist country and there used to be a big wall between East Berlin and West Berlin, where, like, the people on the West, I suppose, couldn't come to the East, or was it the other way around, because the East was where the rich people lived and the West was where the poor people lived." -- Australian reality TV contestant Wesley (See! It's not only the American educational system that produces "historicus idioticus". Or may he is just channeling Noam Chomsky. -Mondo)
Watch for Part 2.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Muzzy Is In Fine Form!

Recent Posts of note from Blogizdat:

Followup To Jinx McHue

Jinx McHue Does Some Heavy Lifting

Jinx takes on Bill Press on the subject of the faith of our founding Fathers. It begins with Faith of Our (Founding) Fathers. This is followed by Bill Press "responds" to my email. In my opinion, the latter is a better read, but the former establishes the context better. Worth the read. By the way, the response of the learned Mr. Press is, as they say, "concise".

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Another History Of An Idea

Stolen from Tim Blair's wonderful blog. This is from the commentary on his post on Powerline as Time magazine's Blog of the Year. The author is one "rhhardin".
Women of course are not interested in lagrangian libration points, which are points of stability in the combined gravity fields of the earth and moon and sun, where junk collects. But there's an analog if you don't dust for a decade or so, where giant dust balls form at points of habitually rising air, the dust following the horizontal negative flow divergence to that point and then staying behind as the air rises, a fascinating event unfolding that a woman would never tolerate even the beginning of. A man remains calm, even fascinated, in the presence of natural events that need explaining, in his view, and not fixing. Like huge balls of dust. ``I wonder how big it will get.'' A man looks forward to seeing in a couple of years more what will have happened. NASA may want to send a mission there, he thinks.

These giant dust balls can be broken up however by a dog chasing some object into an undisturbed area once in a while, which is their eventual fate. This is the analog of a large comet.

Men are unaffected by the story ``Dust Balls, a New Menace? More at Eleven'' but women are, and women are the product of the news businesses. These women (said to be 40% of women; not all, but it's all you can get) are sold to advertisers. News busineses(sp) would like a more general audience, but there usually isn't anything to attract a more general audience except for one-offs like Princess Di's funeral or JFK Jr augering into the sea, where the comman(sp) man is tuning in to see if the entire world has gone crazy or if it's just his wife. Women you can attract daily!

Blogs come and go on interest alone, both writer's and readers', and so needn't pander to the biggest homogeneous audience available no matter how moronic.

Similarly men who are married sometimes clean up, with a view towards future favors. This is said to be the civilizing influence of women.

Just one more reason to love the Australians!

See The Fear In Their Eyes!

Here is a picture that proves the Iraqi people do not support our war on Iraq! The Fear of coalition troops is obvious. See the rest of the pictures here.

In closing:
  • Thank you to our coalition partners in this effort. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten.
(Thanks to our friends at ?No Pasaran!)

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Bankruptcy of Democratic Tax Analysis

The Blue State Tax Burden by Marc Sumerlin (WSJ) demonstrates the bankruptcy of Democratic thinking concerning income taxation.
Lawrence O'Donnell, a leading party strategist and former aide to Sen. Pat Moynihan...complained on MSNBC that "the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don't pay for the federal government." Mr. O'Donnell added for good measure, "Ninety percent of the red states are welfare client states of the federal government."
Given the penchant of the Democrats for redistribution, this is irony of the highest order!
Of course, many conservative Republicans have a similar complaint on the tax side of the ledger, noting that the top 1% of taxpayers pay 37% of the federal income tax while the bottom 50% pay just 6%. Of course, both points are related. Rich people pay disproportionately more taxes than do other people. Blue states have higher average incomes and more rich people, and therefore pay higher taxes, than do red states.
...(E)nacting John Kerry's proposed tax hike on high-income earners would only have made things worse. Using the Kerry campaign's $200,000 income cutoff, four times as many Connecticut residents as Oklahoma residents would have seen their taxes go up.

So, let's make it FAIR!
What to do? One obvious point is that if you have a federal income tax, you can't have tax rates that vary by state. However, this leads inescapably to the mathematical fact that flat taxes are not only simpler by most measures, they are also the only way to deal with the type of unfairness that Mr. O'Donnell complains about. Flatter is fairer. Flat rates coupled with lump-sum credits, for children for example, are a lot closer to producing a "fair" result by what seem to be Mr. O'Donnell's standards than the current multi-bracketed system he has been schooled to think of as "fair."
It was often stated after this election that red state voters voted against their economic interest by voting for the party of lower taxes. It would appear that quite the opposite is true and that "the federal-tax playing field is tipped against the blue states because of the past political preferences of blue-state voters."

The full analysis in this article, including that of the difference in growth rates and standard of living, is well worth the read. Enjoy!

I looked At Blue And Decided To Spend My Green On Red

A friend sent me a tip to check out the article Spending Some Green On Red Or Blue at Fox News about The FAQs page provides a great amount of information.
Why was started?

On the morning after the 2004 election, half of the country woke up in disbelief and disgust. Shortly afterwards it turned to anger and bitterness and many were entertaining moving to another country. It didn't take long for all of us to collectively realize that we had lost our country to the other side and we wanted, no needed to do something about it. It was at that moment that the original idea for was born.
(It might be petty of me to ask why they never leave when there are already so many socialist utopias to relocate to. Perhaps Sweden, where they can ponder how the good socialists of IKEA can exploit cheap Taiwanese labor to sell inexpensive goods to middle class Americans.)

But, do tell us more!
What is all about?

Mission Statement: supports businesses that share our progressive values and ideals. uses our power as consumers to vote with our wallets, supporting businesses that abide by sustainability, workers' rights, environmental standards, and corporate transparency. At the same time, organizes vast boycotts against businesses that violate the essential values of a sustainable, fair and profitable society through their policies and the politicians they support.

Vision Statement: will become a powerful tool used by a community of millions dissatisfied with the ineffectiveness of our elected and appointed leaders. We will form strong coalitions with stockholders, shareholders, corporations, small businesses and communities which share our values to gain strength through numbers. We will influence the political landscape, stimulate economic growth among participating businesses and industries and use the American dollar as an incentive for corporate transparency and responsibility.
Oddly enough, there isn't much that I would disagree with here. This, at least, gives the appearance of being a market-based solution. It strikes me as fundamental that purchasing decisions should (and do) include a "Values" component. I do wonder how "vast" the boycotts will be.

1. We believe that most politicians no longer serve the public's interest and instead pander to influential corporations and special interests.
2. We believe that America can be great and united again, but first we must embrace progressive ideals that work in the interests of all of our citizens, not simply those in the majority or those who are privileged.
3. We believe that the best way to encourage our political leaders and corporations to enforce progressive ideals is to vote for those ideals the only way those groups understand; with our collective buying power.
4. We believe that as a community we can, will, and must make a difference
Substitute "conservative" or "free market" for "progressive" and try this on for size. Now, you must look at the list before you read the next section.
What if I want to Buy Red?

This too is a very common question we get asked, although it is usually more inflammatory or a threat of some kind. Those are always amusing reads. Our answer: more power to you! By doing so you are helping us to achieve our ultimate goal and you are helping to get the attention of corporations. Thank You!

However, the people that write us and tell us they are going to "buy red" don't understand the vision of the web site and don't understand that we control the definition of "buying red". Currently, our information is politically based, but when it becomes comprehensive I think these same people will find that "buying red" is an untenable position. "Buying red" will no longer mean supporting corporations who donated to the Republican party, it'll mean supporting corporations that pay sub-standard wages, have unethical business practices, destroy the environment to make a buck, and discriminate against minorities, women and homosexuals. In fact there is a chance you might even find corporations who contributed to Democrats declared "red" or at the very least borderline.

This isn't about politics, it is about positive social change and bringing about a sustainable, fair and profitable society.
Did you notice the Orwellian moment in that passage?
"Buying red" will no longer mean supporting corporations who donated to the Republican party, it'll mean supporting corporations that pay sub-standard wages, have unethical business practices, destroy the environment to make a buck, and discriminate against minorities, women and homosexuals. In fact there is a chance you might even find corporations who contributed to Democrats declared "red" or at the very least borderline.
It is an interesting propaganda technique to morph the symbol. On the other hand, one could read this passage and conclude that corporations who donate to the Republican Party are not those which "pay sub-standard wages, have unethical business practices, destroy the environment to make a buck, and discriminate against minorities, women and homosexuals."

I also wonder if those corporations who contributed to Democrats that are declared "red" will be identified as to political affiliation. Considering such businesses as Global Crossing, or the activities of a Frank Purdue and Terry MacAuliff, they should find more than a few candidates. However, I suspect that the key phrase "there is a chance" is an indication of their expectation as to that possibility and an indication of how hard they will be looking.

This site has some value and, if the information is presented honestly, could be useful. Such surveys are limited in value by the size of their samples. If they only look at "Enrons" and ignore "Global Crossings", then this site will be just another political hackjob. High on their list of persons to investigate should be George Soros, a manipulator of international monetary systems for his own profit. (That is a far too kind description of Mr. Soros activities.) Perhaps MoveOn.Org will assist them in this investigation. I don't think I will hold my breath though.

We will see if it is true that "(this) isn't about politics, it is about positive social change and bringing about a sustainable, fair and profitable society."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

One Very (Dissident) Frenchman

Our friend at Barcepundit finished second in the "2004 Weblog Awards - Best European (Non-UK) Blog" competition behind The Dissident Frogman. Here is a (not so) little taste of the winner:

1. From The Misérables:
The second and rather long article by Brian Moynihan in the Sunday Times is so consistently spot on that it is almost scary.

It is also somewhat embarrassing when it comes to picking quotes, frankly.

So here's a, well, pot-pourri of course:

« Going, going... the old man of Europe
(Chirac) the great survivor is on his way out, leaving France in a state of decline »

What do you call a great survivor at the bottom of the ocean? A good start.

I know, you're not in for easy jokes but I just couldn't help it. And because I'm the one pulling all the work here doesn't mean I should climb the walls, does it?

« Gaullism, tetchy in its defence of French interests, pining for grandeur, has moulded him.
One of its principal features is to lump Americans and the British together as "les Anglo-Saxons", and to mistrust both. Another (...) is the general's dictum that "with the English one must bang on the table and they will submit". »

Right. Tell that to Napoleon's horse, Charly.

« Forty years ago, de Gaulle described the Americans as "the greatest danger in the world today to peace". »

1. Now you know where Lefties and their Islamofascist allies borrowed their pathetic rhetoric.
2. Now you know why I regard de Gaulle as a great man up until, say, June 18th, 1940. Tops.
« Chirac is more circumspect. But he went out of his way to praise the philosopher Jacques Derrida, (...) as one of the "major figures of the intellectual life of our times". Derrida was notorious for calling America the "world's leading rogue state". »

1. Now you know where Lefties and their Islamofascist allies borrowed their pathetic rhetoric.
2. Now you know why I regard Chirac as a great man up until, say, November 28th, 1932. Tops.

And as a side note, I'll had that being called 'a major intellectual' by somebody like Mr. Chirac tells you a lot about what Derrida was, and was not. If you get my meaning, wink, wink.

« As to the British, the general once said that Churchill had told him: "Each time I must choose between you and Roosevelt, I shall choose Roosevelt." »

Which is one among many reasons why Churchill still is a great man.
« There is a tangible fear that the French vision of the EU, politically integrated, socially conscious, is being replaced by an English- dominated collection of loosely linked states with a liberal, free-market economy hostile to Gaullist notions of state-backed industries and étatisme. »

Fear? What do you mean fear? Gee, I can't wait for that glorious day.

All right, this is just an appetizer really. I do insist you go and read the whole thing, as it is addressing some key French issues, above and beyond Jacques C., King of the Thieves -- from de Gaulle to that quarter of the French workforce made of public sector employees rushing the country on the road to bankruptcy.

However, as the French expression goes, here's a last one for the road:
« The socialists under François Mitterrand misused public funds on a scale undreamt of by Juppé. They created a building consultancy, Urba, with 16 regional offices, in order to siphon money from public works contracts into party coffers. It contributed £2.4m to Mitterrand’s re-election campaign. Police and investigating magistrates were stymied when Mitterrand announced a grand amnesty for those being investigated for financial misdemeanours. This applied to all elected representatives, including himself. »

That's the French way: bribe and swindle your way to the top, and then pardon yourself.
2. I See A Red Button Rising (Just press it)

3. From Frogman Goes Shopping.
Where it says: "Fermeuh ton Bush".

If you were culturally superior enough to be born French, you'd already understood this dainty bon mot, and would already be jesting heartily at President Bush's obvious stupidity.

However, you're probably not, so I have to explain: it's a pun that can be understood as "shut your mouth" and it is very funny because 'Bush' sounds like 'Bouche' in French, which means 'Mouth'.

But wait, there's more. Here it gets extraordinarily intellectually superior: for some extra witty fun, the French Intellectual Humorist Philosopher behind this very funny de l'humour motto wrote 'Fermeuh' instead of 'Ferme' ('close' or 'shut').
Now it's not because he can't spell and conjugate his own language, although any contact with French emails and forums is enough to grant him the benefit of the doubt on this one, but because it looks just like he's writing as a kid would speak in a mocking way.

Which is so extra funny when he you think of it.

Okay, that's enough French de l'humour culture for today.
4. I Want The T-Shirt
Quote of the Day:
« Supporting Socialism for fear of Fascism is suicide for fear of death. »
Samizdata Illuminatus

And a good time was had by all!

Friday, December 17, 2004

If Only The French

would employ this much discretion. We get this from 100 Days Of Rwanda:
July 05, 2004
Day 91

Ten years ago today: When asked U.S. opinion on the French's apparent about-face on the mandate of Operation Turquoise, a State Department spokeswoman said,

Since we don't have an in-country presence, I'm not sure that we would be in a position to evaluate or make a judgment on every action or activity that has taken place.
For some reason, I can't imagine the French Foreign Minister saying something like this regarding the US.

You May Not Care, But

I have been doing some blog tooling on "Around The World...". It is always a mistake for me to look at Tooling Your Blog With This... or to visit Drink This.... It gives me a really bad case of BLOG ENVY! In my opinion, TGOM does blogging really, really well.

I have made some minor tweaks in the appearance of the site and have added a site feed (Atom 0.3 presently, RSS feed coming soon). I would appreciate confirmation that the site feed works somewhere other than my computer. As one who is severely HTML/CSS/JAVA challenged, I am always suspicious when things appear to work. (Perhaps I am just a solipsist looking for an alternate metaphysical point of view. Wait - wouldn't that make me schizophrenic? You shut up! No, You Shut up!!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Advice So Good I Paid Twice

I started my morning with a cup of coffee, reggae on ITunes, and a Tall Glass Of Milk. I originally came across her article Tooling Your Blog With This... in comments she had posted on Shock And Blog. "Tooling" is an invaluable article for the blogger who wants to improve the reach of their blog. It focused my thinking and research. It is not a step-by-step recipe, but rather directs you to resources. I began implementing some of the recommendations immediately after reading the article and have added others since. I also punched the "DONATE" button at the end of the article. (Requested donation: $5.00) This advice will save you many hours of research and is well worth the small requested amount. In fact, since the requested amount is so small, I decided I would donate again periodically as I implemented the information and did so this morning. So, Thank You to a Tall Glass Of Milk and to the rest of you: Drink This...

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Blogger Challenge Ends 12/15

Just a reminder to contribute to The Spirit of America. You can join Team Northern Alliance of Blogs and/or contribute here. If you want to spite me (and who doesn't in this Christmas season), go contribute through the fine efforts of A Small Victory. (I apologize if this is starting to seem like a Public TV fundraising telethon.)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Tapas From Spain

A selection of Spanish treats cooked up by Franco Aleman at Barcepundit:
  1. Just when you thought John Kerry had cornered the market on vanity and pandering, we get this:
    SPAIN'S SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is proud to portray himself as a hard-core feminist.
    But wait, it gets better!
    In order to prove that he is a real feminist, what a better way than opening the Palacio de la Moncloa -prime minister's office and residencial complex, that is, the equivalent to the White House or No. 10 Downing Street- for a photo spread of the eight women ministers modeling in Vogue?
    Look how Socialist, and how feminist, they all look posing in front of Moncloa's main entrance, clad in chic designer clothes (not as modest as the San Francisco Chronicle says; they're an average $6,000 each, according to Spanish media reports), and sitting, or standing by, two sofas covered in... fur! Where's PETA when you need them?
    And the Grand Finale:
    The editor said that the ministers accepted to pose "only if pics were not frivolous and didn't make them look like top-models". Take a look, for example, at Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, deputy prime minister, and tell me if this requirement was a token of the minister's arrogance, or if there was indeed any risk that she could be mistaken for Claudia Shiffer:
    Read the complete story (with pictures!) here.

  2. Former! President Carter is a patsy, dupe, and simpleton (not necessarily in order of significance). (Mary Anastasia O'Grady on the elections in Venezuela)

  3. Mark Steyn illustrates that while Bush played Poker, Kerry played Snap. With commentary and links. Mr. Steyn is quoted elsewhere as follows:
    What sort of idiot would make the centrepiece of his presidential campaign four months of proud service in a war he's best known for opposing?
  4. Victor Davis Hanson helps us understand the European mindset:
    For a bewildered American, the key in squaring the anti-American rhetoric with the Valley Girl reality is simply to understand Western Europeans as elite Americans.
  5. Mr. Aleman comments here, here, and here on Spain's disagreement with the U.K. concerning Gibraltar. (It would appear that even Socialists of the Internationalist kind cannot avoid nationalism. Does that make them National Socialists? Just free associating)

  6. All this and more (including Castro's Bovine Genetics Program) can be found in the August 2004 Archives.

  7. Mr. Aleman points us to Juan Hervada (more about him later) on the basqueization of Europe. Barcepundit comments:
    Jihadists have realized what happens when they attack Big Satan; they get real wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (so far). And they know what they get when they attack Little Satan, that is, Europe: appeasement all over the place, and yes to anything they want. So, why not going for more?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

On Reasons For War: The Truth

The Impudent One reminds us of Secretary of State Powell's speech before the United Nations.

Just a Reminder

to consider contributing to the Spirit Of America fund this Christmas Season. Information on where and how to contribute can be found in prior post entitled "Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is" and "She's A Loner, Hoping For A Small victory" . Contributing at"Put Your Money..." will help my team roll to victory in the competition. Contributing at "She's A Loner..." will give you the opportunity to contribute through Michele Catalano's efforts (and honest plea for straight forward charity) and read her most excellent blog "A Small Victory". (Ms. Catalano is one of the original organizers of the Blogger Challenge.)

So pull out the plastic and contribute. (Some of you really need to do this. Think of Dickens And Ghosts.) Consider a regular gift to a worthy cause.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Perhaps We Should Sign a Nuclear Treaty With North Korea

This article from the BBC World News (World Edition 12/8/04) may help clarify your thinking on this point. (Reprinted in full for posterity.)
Japan fury over abductee remains
Megumi Yokota as a young woman (file photo)
Megumi Yokota's parents believe she is still alive
Tokyo has expressed "extreme regret" at North Korea, after DNA tests showed that remains provided by the North were not those of a missing Japanese woman.

Pyongyang has admitted kidnapping Megumi Yokota in 1977, saying she committed suicide in 1994.

But Japan remained sceptical, and had called for proof that she was dead.

Japanese Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said the issue was now a "major obstacle" to ties, and said food aid to the North should be re-evaluated.

The remains were brought back by a Japanese delegation last month after a fact-finding mission about kidnap victims who have gone missing in the North.

Pyongyang admitted in 2002 to abducting 13 Japanese nationals, who were to be used as cultural trainers for North Korean spies. Five were allowed to return to Japan, while North Korea said the others had died.

The DNA test results were made public on Wednesday.

Hitomi Soga during a press conference by the five former Japanese abductees at a Tokyo hotel Saturday, May 22, 2004
Snatched in the '70s and '80s
Used as cultural trainers for N Korean spies
Five allowed home in 2002
Five children now freed from N Korea
Eight said to be dead, others missing

Heartbreak over Japan's missing

"The bones belonged to a number of other people," Mr Hosoda said.

"It would be difficult under such circumstances to provide further assistance to North Korea," he said.

Megumi Yokota's mother, Sakie, said the results showed North Korea was not telling the truth.

"It's good that the results let everyone in this country know how Kim Jong-il's country is cruel, cold-blooded and inhumane," she said.

Tsutomu Takebe, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, called North Korea's latest move "extremely insincere".

The latest twist will fuel suspicions that Megumi Yokota is still alive and being held in the North.

Some believe she is being detained because she knows too much about the secretive country.

The confusion is also likely to be a major hindrance to Japan's normalising relations with North Korea, which is keen for economic aid.

North Korea has handed over remains before which did not match the supposed deceased.

In 2002, Japanese investigators were handed human remains which North Korea said belonged to Kaoru Matsuki, who supposedly died in a traffic accident in 1996.

But a jaw fragment studied by a dental professor in fact resembled that of a woman in her 60s.

Peace-Loving Worker Citizens Of The World Unite!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Heal This!

Muzzy over at Blogizdat has an excellent post on the hijinx of Benny Hinn. I have always been skeptical of the very fab Mr. Hinn. That skepticism was validated when one evening I happened upon a TV broadcast during which he told a man, who stood head and shoulders above him, that he would eventually weigh 120 lbs. This man was much broader than Mr. Hinn at the shoulders. Now, I stand 5' 7" tall and weigh 155 to 160 lbs. That weight has been fairly stable for about 30 years. I am fairly muscular with a low percentage of body fat. If I weighed 120 lbs, I would be a poster child for the latest famine appeal. Assuming that Mr. Hinn and I are about the same height, that man would have stood well over 6' tall. If Mr. Hinn is much shorter than I, that man would have been 6' tall. Let's see now: 6' tall with XXL shoulder width.... I certainly hope the man was healed of his maladies and I believe Mr. Hinn was correct. That man will eventually weigh 120 lbs, when he reaches a certain state of decay in his coffin.

Now if you want real faith healing, go here.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

A Horror To Remember: A Rwanda Travelogue

During my visit today to ?No Pasarn!, a link in their blogroll caught my eye. 100 Days of Rwanda seeks to document that dark stain on modern history. The author describes the project:
April 04, 2004
100 Days of Rwanda Project

On April 6, 1994, ten years ago this week, the small African nation of Rwanda began a journey down one of the darkest roads in human history, when the death of its president sparked the start of a virulent genocide that claimed over 800,000 lives... while the world stood by and watched.

Frontline aired an excellent program last week about the indifference shown to Rwanda by the Clinton Administration and by the United Nations, among others, and the efforts of other Westerners to try and save lives. (Alison Des Forges' Leave None to Tell the Story, Philip Gourevitch's We Wish to Inform You..., and Romeo Dallaire's recent book Shake Hands with the Devil are all also out there and are invaluable resources.) The genocide in Rwanda lasted "only" 100 days. Three months where an average of 8,000 Rwandans were killed every day. It's occurred to me that one way to attempt to begin to understand, in a small way, the un-understandable, is to at least experience 100 days of being conscious of Rwanda, of what happened there, over the same stretch of time that it took hundreds of thousands of people to die.

We talk about "blogging" as a sort of ongoing thing... but it can also be an act, a finite effort with a beginning and end. I thought of creating a blog called 100 Days of Rwanda, where I would set out to present links to stuff (historical and present-day) about this country that Americans still don't know much about, and about what happened there ten years ago. It would be a learning process for myself, at the very least.

In the next 100 days I hope to learn a lot more about Rwandans of all backgrounds and their ongoing story. I encourage people to also remember Rwanda in their blogs and .sigs this spring. Further commentary on this project is posted at my personal blog.

July 14, 2004
Personal note:

The "100 Days" is a somewhat arbitrary period, but it is the most commonly cited approximate time period for the catastrophe known as the Rwandan genocide.

When I started this project, I wondered if the experience of digesting the Rwandan genocide and civil war in "real time" chunks (at least, day by day) over the same period of time that it unfolded, would provide some sort of added insight.

It's been a long three months, but it seemed to go by fast, until I sat there the other night and tried to remember everything I'd written down since April 6 and all the various emotional reactions I had. I would have to say that the single thing that affected me the most emotionally was what occurred at Benebekira convent on Day 25. But there were many other things I learned that will stand out in my mind about what happened in Rwanda.

It is a far more intimate view of the genocide than much of what I have encountered elsewhere. Excerpt July 06, 2004
In the village of Ruganda, the New York Times reported, sympathetic Hutu families were still hiding Tutsi from officials.

Despite the ferocity of the propaganda and the violence, bonds of loyalty and friendship have survived among Hutu and Tutsi. Here in Ruganda, one Hutu family has been harboring Tutsi since April -- 30 at first, now 8, mostly children whose parents were killed. "I had no problems with Tutsi; they were my neighbors, and I am a Christian," said Anne-Marie Mukarukaka, 31, a court stenographer. Other Hutu in Ruganda know that Tutsi are hiding in Mrs. Mukarukaka's house, but they have not betrayed them. Mrs. Mukarukaka has even informed the village authorities, who are all Hutu. For these villagers, being a Hutu or a Tutsi never really mattered.
This is a large project and will take some time to read. It seems to be well documented. I have concluded that the author is a Democrat from a cursory look at the personal blog, but the author doesn't seem to be an apologist for the Clinton administration or the United Nations.

"Lest we forget" would be a good summary. I do fear, however, that someone will probably be doing a similar project on the genocide in the Sudan at some time in the future. At this point I don't see much evidence to the contrary.

Friday, December 03, 2004

A Quick Trip to Canada

Paul Denton at Ravishing Light has excellent coverage of the protests against President Bush in Ottawa. You will find photos here. Mr. Denton also gives context by providing a map and description of downtown Ottawa. This demonstration was much more entertaining than those during President Bush's more recent visit. A party is always more fun when the invited guests show up! Look for additional commentary in other posts. Of special entertainment value is Mr. Denton's response to a scatological (and to be quite frank, threatening) comment left by a moonbat. And they call us Nazis!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

A Spanish Travelogue

Our friends at ?No Pasaran! published a short article covering the testimony of Jose Maria Aznar before the parliamentary commission investigating the March 11 train bombings. This article pointed to two excellent sources.

The first is Barcepundit - English Edition. For those more linguistically accomplished than I, there is a Spanish edition. A summary of former Prime Minister Aznar's testimony can be found here. Further commentary and coverage from the day after the testimony can be found here. There is also a short post about the connection between September 11 and the Madrid train bombings. Posts are not limited to topics Spanish, with commentary on Kojo Annan and Iran's nuclear cheating.

Another source mentioned in the original article (and at Barcepundit) is Iberian Notes. Evidently written by an expatriate American, the topics range from politics to soccer. Evidently, Spain has football hooligans too. An excellent post on energy production and consumption, and their relationship to the possibility of energy blackmail can be found here. On the subject of former Prime Minister Aznar's testimony, you will find an excellent post here.

Both of these blogs have extensive listings of links which will require further investigation. The adventure has just begun.

She's a Loner, Hoping For A Small victory

Do you want to play "David" to that "Goliath" The Northern Alliance of Blogs in the Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge? Do you want to stick your finger in their collective eye? Well then, join that Rebel over at A Small Victory! Give like Democrats vote, early and often!