Saturday, December 15, 2007
Voilà Kadhafi avec ses cheveux en bataille, son regard que rien n'accroche et ses faux airs de Keith Richards, le plus déjanté des Rolling Stones
Dammit! America, man… you guys really treated my family well…
You may think "Oh how corny! Oh what a corny guy!" … and I'm not gonna apologize if I sound corny, but let me tell how grateful I am… that I am an American…
The designer himself describes the filter as "a vegetal brain enclosed in an aluminium and Pyrex cranial box." That "brain" then cleans the air in your house for you.And I refer to that as overblown nonsense that on a construction site might even result in a brick being therapeutically and anonymously thrown at you to induce some humility.
Elsewhere one of my favorite bloggers out there notes something he heard at a lecture. An Architect with a nutsack addresses the unstoppable gob of that whole “I talk therefore I am” phenomenon that so many people attempt to lunch on:
To rephrase Garcia-Abril's response to the audience member's question on whether his architecture posed a moral dilemma: "Some architects are excellent theorists and writers but often produce terrible buildings, while others never write a sentence yet produce sublime works of art. I choose to believe that it is better to let the architecture speak for itself, independent of any theoretical or philosophical justification. In the end there is just a building, and whatever verbal rhetoric that accompanied it will eventually be forgotten." I'm sure the Spaniard would somewhat object to my interpretation of what he was trying to say in a foreign tongue that evening, but what I do recall still deeply affects my view of the matter. To be honest, I admire the fact that he refused to directly engage the question by arguing that his designs are sustainable and green depending on the criteria used. And he refused to publicly claim that he was fully committed to sustainability (though he might be), since his work showed quite a few contradictions such a statement (unlike numerous hyprocrite designers who do exactly that). Rather, Garcia-Abril's retort transcended such mundane eco-talk by essentially saying - "Here are my buildings, here is what the design process is like for me, make what you will of it, since in the end its about the building itself and it is independent of any contemporary value system".
Friday, December 14, 2007
According to the polls, the White House is generally favored over Congress, more people are unsurprised by Bush's victories over Congress than otherwise, more respondents like Bush's leadership style than not, and more people think history will judge Bush… for the better!
Update: More evidence of global warming in Le Monde…
The European Union, which so much likes to take the high moral ground on human rights, is rather agile in finding excuses
For the European Union, which so much likes to take the high moral ground on human rights, it has been a pretty miserable monthwrites Judy Dempsey.
Last week, EU leaders and their African counterparts held a summit in Lisbon, the first in seven years. But it was marred from the beginning. Britain's prime minister, Gordon Brown, was the only leader to take a principled stand. He stayed away after Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president, had been invited by Portugal, the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency.
The rest of the EU seemed to have forgotten that the member states had imposed a travel ban on Zimbabwe's top leadership because of its appalling human rights record. But when African leaders threatened to boycott the summit without Mugabe's presence, the EU caved in and declared that it was more important to have a public dialogue with Africa.
…The EU has been cowardly in demanding the truth over the shooting of hundreds of [Uzbek] protestors in Andijan in 2005. …
[That and other] examples also show just how agile the EU is in finding excuses. …
Take Kazakhstan. Ruled by Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has created a cult of personality equal to North Korea's Kim Jong Il, this Central Asian country has been awarded the annual rotating chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. … EU officials … say that if Kazakhstan had not been given the chairmanship, its foreign policy would shift eastward to China — and so would its vast energy resources and business contracts.
…if Germany and the rest of the EU did not engage Africa in a serious way, then China would set the agenda there. …
If the EU claims that it is competing with China for influence in Africa, the first thing it should do is break down its protectionist trade barriers and then speak up much more forcefully for human rights, which is crucial for civil society.
Trapped in Beeb-istan: the Provisional Wing of the PC left has finally found a way to get into the Christmas spirit.
Former Brookside babe Jennifer Ellison is to star in a new BBC adaptation of the Nativity story.Further, the Ho Ho Hosebag will be sexing-up the dumbing-down of the greatest story ever told:
The new show will be broadcast live on BBC Three on December 16th and will see Ellison playing the part of a pregnant Mary who is fighting to stop her asylum-seeker boyfriend Joseph from being deported.
Jennifer Ellison will don a silver catsuit to play an angel in the BBC's new adaptation of the Nativity story. I suppose the point they’re making really is that there is no reason to become a citizen since the only notion they now have of what a citizenship is feeling perpetually guilty about your very being. That’s sure to bring the brain-trust knocking on their doors, and that forgiveness and salvation are available with a Scheisster and paperwork sent to the Home Office.
This is the same BBC that refers to any other nations newcomers as immigrants, but otherwise as “migrants” only when referring to a foreigner in the UK, legally there or not, seeking citizenship or not.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The next Khalid Sheik Mohammed or Abu Zubaydah can rest easy: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., is looking out for you
Democrats have created a climate where investigators are to follow some kind of Robert's Rules of Order and the interrogators are to be more fearful than those they interrogateeditorializes Investor's Business Daily.
But we didn't necessarily want the terrorists to know that or what other techniques, like being forced to listen to Rosie O'Donnell, might be employed. If we do not torture, we would still want captured jihadists to think we do, that we will do more than read them their Miranda rights and ask if they want an attorney.
…Is waterboarding in fact torture? Not if torture is defined as the deliberate infliction of intense pain and possible physical harm. Waterboarding instilled fear, and we see no reason terrorists should not be afraid, very afraid, of us.
…the congressional leaders of both parties were extensively briefed on the techniques used in interrogating captured prisoners. Thanks to Democrats and the mainstream media, so were the terrorists who are trying to kill us.
(Pictured: a charming and welcoming German street scene, left in place for years because it's concidered "art") Immigrants vote with their feet.
toward the end of last year – following the riots in France's immigrant-populated suburbs - something happened: discussions about Europe's "social model" grew quiet, very quiet.The case in point? Comparing the success and level of happiness of Somalis who immigrated abroad after that nation’s descent into lawlessness and civil war.
Just a few months earlier, when Hurricane Katrina had struck New Orleans, European media and politicians were wallowing in schadenfreude (taking pleasure in the misfortune of others). The U.S. was called a "developing country," unable to protect its own citizens, and thus a world away from a Europe of solidarity and compassion.
But then the fires began in Paris, Lyon and Marseille. And an embarrassed silence settled in.
The American societal model, with its wide disparities and gaping safety net, is something that few in Europe wish to emulate. There is, however, quite a bit to learn from it. One example is the assimilation of immigrants into the labor market.
Compared to the odds of things working out for an immigrant in the US, Europe stinks.
When Somalia collapsed at the beginning of the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled the country. Those who reached Sweden had almost no chance of finding work: In 1997 only 10 percent were employed. Currently, the number has risen to some 30 percent, which is long way off the national level of 77 percent.This isn’t a matter of pulling out the Euro-pavlovian rationalization-response number 1,547 about the better disposed and more ambitious immigrants bypassing Europe in favor of the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and so forth. The study compared apples to apples, and demonstrates something that anyone familiar with immigrant communities on both sides of the pond can readily see – the socialist-cum-dogooder rhetoric found in Europe is most frequently a failure, and at times an outright lie aimed at using social self-flattery to compensate for a failed social model.
Antoine di Zazzo, identified by AFP as "one of the biggest Taser representatives" outside the United States, said his company is "developing a mini-flying saucer like drone which could also fire Taser stun rounds on criminal suspects or rioting crowds.The roadblock obviously is that because it’s been used in the US and Canada, that the UN determined that it is a form of torture. Otherwise they’d be abusing themselves to the sound of Nicholai Tesla’s words, zapping “youts”, and going on smugly about the superiority of their export numbers.
And in the national interest, of course, the AFP’s notion of fair journalism lives on: some German guy uses Chinese prisoners remains are used to make art, a flying taser is seen uncritically, but the same lot lose their continence over Gitmo.
What I don't get is that AFP put the flying saucer thing at the end of the freakin' story about TASER! What the heck!? Are stun-gun equipped flying saucers just sort of ho-hum in France? This should have been a huge headline with pictures of children running for their lives, as the evil alien-looking TASER saucers attack.This shouldn’t be confused with the culture’s more normal sounding loopiness preoccupied with the “Bush Junta”.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Heaven forbid as well that there would have been a glowing reception given to the American president like the Ritz event described by Ariane Chemin in Le Monde in which Kadhafi is told he has nothing but friends and is oohed and aahed over by Paris's intelligentsia. One woman is "delighted" that her book has been signed by Kadhafi with the word "friendship". Meanwhile, André Fontaine is taken out of the mothball closet to explain how an insult made during his first Paris visit 34 years ago (the Guide of the Libyan Revolution had more criticism for France this week) had to be answered by then-Le Monde editor Fontaine. He then goes on to say, obviously with a nodding attitude, even with admiration (for the interpreter):
Mais la manière dont l'interprète libyen traduisit ma réponse fut assez habile pour satisfaire Kadhafi, dont le visage s'illumina.I thought that when it comes to a free country like France, the point is to be upright and always to tell friends and enemies alike the truth outside of all fear? If your translators are going to mis-translate the words, or the sense of the phrase, then what's the point?!
Don't think that these monuments to France's lucidité at the Ritz don't have principles, however. They are in rage. Over what? Over Bernard Kouchner's refusal to attend the Kadhafi love-fest, as well as his refusal to explain his reason for not attending, which Roland Dumas deems nothing less than… "a dual cowardice"!
Update: Axel Poniatowski answers questions from Le Monde readers (teaching them — and us — that, among other things, "à partir du 1er janvier prochain, la Libye va présider le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU")…
The American left's perception of racism is contradictory at its basewrites Ben Duffy.
On the one hand, they see racists under every bed, but on the other hand, they don't recognize someone like Bob Green as the bigot that he is. …
If you listen to his program for 30 seconds, you will know that Mr. Green is black because that's all he ever talks about. He allows his identity to be determined by his pigmentation. Bob Green is also incredibly racist. His racism is usually directed towards white people, but our society is so constrained by white guilt that we don't recognize anti-white racism as a form of bigotry.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
There’s naïve, and then there’s this:
...last year, the 24-year-old German reached out to a convicted killer on Texas' death row. Her motives were altruistic, she said, not romantic. In time, after more than 50 letters posted back and forth across the Atlantic, Ms. Deeken said, mutual feelings grew. It seems that in the absence of a more grounded existence to help put things into context, let’s say, one where they try to legislate the trials and tribulations of human life out of existence, it should come as no surprise that loneliness and a need for irredeemable empathy would bubble up to the surface as a preoccupation. Perhaps it’s thought of as a sort of “giving back” or charity, but of a sort selected to give one ultimately the greatest degree of personal anguish in the end. Where some who have no family or close relationships fall into bad habits, others genuinely give of themselves. Some, it seems want to appear to be generous, but choose as vessel for those emotions something that could only result in ones’ own helplessness:
"I have a connection with him," she explained recently, shaking slightly, tears running down her cheek. "Everyone in life has a vision, has dreams, has fears, is searching for something. He is the person I can talk deeply with about these things."
Each month, dozens of travel-weary, love-struck European women arrive in Livingston for visits with condemned inmates, a pair of four-hour chats through Plexiglas. There is no touching. There are people out there who see something out there in the world that gives them pain. Some try to understand the phenomenon, while others foolishly believe that they can go make that painful thing go away, in spite of the reasons they have for exiting to begin with.
In other words, they are sick people who have been living in comfort so long that they are no longer able to interpret the value of their emotions, the hurt feelings of the convict, and the actions of the convict. It’s all equally incomprehensible it it’s purpose or reasons for being. It all seems intended when they all stem from the consequences of the actions of the convict. To the simpleton, retribution and justice are the same, they are riddled with things that are hurtful to think about, therefore the circumstances must be done away with.
In 1995, Mr. Martinez was convicted of stabbing to death a 68-year-old woman and her 4-year-old granddaughter. He sexually assaulted the older woman, defiled the corpse of the child, and reportedly threatened the victims' family as he was led from the courtroom, saying, "It's not over yet." The reasons usually speak for themselves when you consider the alternatives are to let them walk, leave them to inflict yet more non-therapeutic violence on the prison population, or even creating a society where ones’ harmful actions don’t result in consequences of any sort.
- Vielen Dank, Corbusier